TheNational Citizen Survey™ participants and 2014 winners of theVoice of the People Awardfor Transformation in Economy have paid close attention to their respective local economy and developed approaches tailored to the unique challenges of their communities.
Cities across the nation have had to adjust their economic policies and goals in the wake of recession and in the face of a rapidly-changing future. Communities are taking active steps to attract and retain businesses in order to remain vibrant places to live and work. The 2014 winners of the Voice of the People Award for Transformation in Economy have paid close attention to their respective local economy and developed approaches tailored to the unique challenges of their communities.
Palm Coast, FL
The Palm Coast Business Assistance Center gives resources and support to local businesses.
The City of Palm Coast decided to take matters into its own hands and aggressively safeguard itself from continuing effects of the great recession by implementing the Prosperity 2021 plan, a set of economic development goals for the city. The focus of this plan is to maintain neighborhoods, support local businesses and encourage investment by attracting more residents, visitors and businesses. Maintaining an attractive and pleasant appearance is important to the city and its character.
In 2011, the Palm Coast opened a Business Assistance Center (BAC) in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center hosted by the University of Central Florida. The BAC provides free personalized assistance in starting and growing local businesses and hosts an annual BAC Expo. Business clients of the Palm Coast BAC have generated an economic impact of $21.3 million in the BAC’s first three years of operation.
In years to come, Palm Coast will continue to spur economic development through annual strategic planning to keep goals and vision in line with citizen needs as well continuing the Prosperity 2021 plan. Maintaining city neighborhoods, supporting existing businesses, and stimulating investment in the future remain top priorities.
Park City, UT
Park City has focused on economic development and improving downtown infrastructure.
The focus of Park City’s development efforts is creating places and experiences by affording residents and visitors access to community amenities and special events. It’s no secret that Park City is largely a resort town and tourism is crucial to the local economy; Park City supports local resorts and businesses by providing physical and capital infrastructure such as mobility and pathway improvements or by enacting more patron-friendly liquor laws.
Park City voted as a community to invest more than $50 million in open space acquisition, bike and pedestrian trails and preserving the vibrancy and character of the community. The City government collaborates with the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau to host and fund special events including world-class skiing competitions and the renowned Sundance Film Festival.
Community involvement is at the core of each new economic development program that the City undertakes; by including public input, the community has more ownership in initiatives and, in turn, new programs are more successful than before. One such program is a voter-approved $25 million reinvestment plan to maintain and improve the downtown historic core and the neighborhood between the Old Town and ski resort. In the future, the Park City plans on creating a business retention and recruitment program to diversify the local tax base outside of the ski resorts.