JOHN NEWBY: Critical nature of community leaders | Unionized

Being business-friendly is essential to the growth of a community. Communities that make it harder for start-ups or new businesses to be found are simply being left behind in today’s world. These entrepreneurs will simply migrate to the next town which happens to be more business-friendly and open their business there. City officials need to create a one-stop-shop business system that helps potential startups and simplifies the whole process. Sending a message to potential startups that your community is open and ready to help new businesses will be worth its weight in gold.

Understanding the nature of the higher paying jobs that come with new businesses moving to the city is what separates the real candidates from the smokers. Companies that outsource or start-ups offering these well-paying jobs are rare. Communities must face the reality that courting these businesses is high stakes poker at best where most lose. Communities that understand the slim chances of winning these few offers and changing course will have the upper hand. They have the upper hand because they make the revitalization and transformation of their community and their downtown area the top priority. Businesses don’t move to cities that lack community dynamism, heart and soul. It is hard enough to keep workers as they are, they are looking for quality of life. It is essential that your community make dynamism and heart and soul their priority to be relevant.

Understanding what hyper-local means is essential. Hyper-local efforts must be city-led. They must promote, encourage and above all set an example. When cities buy goods outside of their community, sending a message to their hyper-local inhabitants is not that important. This is the nail in the coffin of advancing communities. With city budgets challenged more than ever, every penny kept within local community boundaries is crucial. These dollars will be recirculated again and again, providing additional jobs, sales taxes and advancements in the city. Cities simply have to do it right. Smart applicants should understand that the only way to start solving these problems is to keep as much local dollars as possible and build a vibrant community.

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