Economic development is a critical component that drives economic growth in an economy, creating new job opportunities and facilitating an improved quality of life that includes increased access to opportunities created by economic growth for existing and future residents. The Orlando Economic Partnership’s economic development team works to attract and retain jobs for the Orlando region as well as grow existing industry sectors. The Partnership also works to align the region with a vision for the region’s growth that increases participation in the local economy (a vision the Partnership has termed Broad-Based ProsperityTM). While the work of economic developers often falls under the radar, building and sustaining the regional economy is a critical component to a successful community.
These are the top six reasons why economic development plays a critical role in any region’s economy.
1. Job creation
Economic developers provide critical assistance and information to companies that create jobs in our economy. We help to connect new-to-market and existing companies with the resources and partners needed to expand, such as industry partners like CareerSource Central Florida and the Florida High Tech Corridor, utilities, and local government partners.
2. Industry diversification
A core part of economic development works to diversify the economy, reducing a region’s vulnerability to a single industry. While tourism plays an important role in creating jobs in the Orlando region, economic development efforts help to grow industries outside of tourism, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, aviation, autonomous vehicles, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, business services, gaming, entertainment technology, financial technology, life sciences and healthcare, logistics and distribution, medical technology, and innovative technology.
3. Business retention and expansion
A large percentage of jobs in the Orlando economy are created by existing companies that are expanding their operations. The Partnership’s economic development team executed numerous business retention and expansion visits to local companies just last year to assist with their operational needs.
4. Economy fortification
Economic development helps to protect the local economy from economic downturns by attracting and expanding the region’s major employers. For example, when the COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted the global leisure and hospitality industry, many technology companies transitioned focus to clients in the region’s modeling, simulation and training sector.
5. Increased tax revenue
The increased presence of companies in the region translates to increased tax revenue for community projects and local infrastructure. Economic development can also support major job creation initiatives such as the semiconductor research and development campus NeoCity, positioning the 500-acre development opportunity for critical funding for domestic semiconductor research and manufacturing through advocacy for the CHIPS and FABS Acts.
6. Improved quality of life
Better infrastructure and more jobs improve the economy of the region and raise the standard of living for its residents. Quality of place is more important than ever to attract a large talent pool in the era of increased remote workers.
In addition, inclusive economic development works to support the community’s quality of life through initiatives such as supporting the regional transportation network, affordable housing, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as upskilling opportunities for the local workforce. These initiatives help to provide access and capabilities for the existing workforce to take advantage of the new high-wage job opportunities created by economic development efforts.
The Orlando Economic Partnership joins with other economic development organizations to celebrate International Economic Development Week. International Economic Development Week, hosted by the International Economic Development Council, is dedicated to creating awareness for economic development programs that impact the community and increase the quality of life. Learn more on the International Economic Development Council’s website.
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