It is critical to maintain your town's roadways, water system, and other infrastructure assets. However, so is the pursuit of economic growth projects and opportunities. Many small towns have seen downtown businesses disappear with abandoned lots and buildings over time. Populations that were once reasonably steady have begun to decline. While there is no quick fix for small towns, there are tools available to assist them turn their fortunes around.
Many small towns now have Economic Development Officers who work with Economic Development Committees and assist in identifying programmes and prospective opportunities that can help boost a town's local economy. Once a viable initiative or opportunity is identified, it must be pursued. A successful programme or opportunity requires the leadership and active support of local municipalities, business leaders, and community. Initiatives and opportunities that can truly make a difference in a community will be lost without that backing.
You do not have to be an expert to assist your local EDC. Anyone who wants to make a positive difference in their community is welcome to participate. If you want to serve your community by serving on an Economic Development Committee or assisting with a project, you can do so by contacting your local Economic Development Officer to learn more about the programmes and opportunities that your community is working on. Or f you are approached and asked to assist the EDC with an important project for your community, keep the following in mind:
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”