Economic Development Self-Assessment Tool

The Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy has developed a practical tool to help cities and towns analyze their capacity for economic development. Municipalities start by identifying and promoting their “deal makers” that foster economic growth and opportunity and surmounting the “deal breakers” within their control that have been working against their efforts EDSAT enhances the power of local officials to affect positive change in policies and procedures and to better enable these communities to compete for critically needed private sector investment – that is, EDSAT is one of the first steps mayors and city managers can take to becoming the “CEO of Economic Development” for their communities.

Guided by input from a broad group of public and private sector partners from the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties to the National League of Cities and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, our mission is to create a practical set of tools for local governments to better position themselves to attract industry, private investment, a sustainable tax base and high quality good-paying jobs.

We have developed a secure and confidential online self-assessment tool for evaluating and interpreting a municipal jurisdiction’s characteristics and processes directly linked to the factors affecting local investment. With over two hundred and fifty questions, this rigorous examination helps public officials explore their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once the self-assessment is completed, it is analyzed by Dukakis Center staff and a comprehensive report is prepared that weighs each community’s performance against the multi-jurisdictional database that the Dukakis Center is continuously expanding as more municipalities participate in the self assessment. Local officials receive specific feedback in each assessment category, and they can then use the results as a reality check on their community’s economic development strategy.

Ten Assessment Categories
1. Access to Customers/Markets
2. Concentration of Businesses & Services
3. Real Estate and Infrastructure
4. Labor Market Factors
5. Municipal Permit Processes
6. Community Quality of Life
7. Site Related Amenities
8. Business Incentives
9. Local Tax Rates
10. Access to Local Information

Click here for a copy of the latest powerpoint presentation about the EDSAT (delivered December 3, 2010 to the annual National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition).

For more information, contact:

Catherine Tumber, Senior Research Associate
Dukakis Center
Click here to email
Phone: (617) 373-7868

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