economic development

New initiatives target building entrepreneurial capacity in rural areas

Over the last several months, economic development organizations, universities, and their partners have announced new efforts to create the building blocks for entrepreneurial development in rural communities. Examples include i2e announcing new efforts to expand entrepreneurial support services to rural communities in Oklahoma and three Indiana universities partnering to support startup growth in rural regions across the state.

Maine voters approve $50 million in tech: Why it matters to all of us

Maine voters approved a special referendum on June 13 that will issue $50 million in bonds to fund investment in research, development and commercialization in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors. The Maine Technology Institute will distribute $45 million of the funds for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades. The remaining $5 million will be used to recapitalize the Small Enterprise Growth Fund to create jobs and economic growth by lending to or investing in qualifying small businesses.

Bioscience important for state growth

The bioscience industry has had a positive impact on states’ economies and continues to be a driver of economic growth according to a new report from Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). State lawmakers have recognized the importance of the industry, the authors state, and have responded to challenges facing the bioscience companies with legislative efforts focused on a supportive business climate, including increasing available funding, particularly for emerging companies in their state, and leveraging academic and medical research facilities to create strategically planned campus extensions such as Smart Zones or Innovation Zones that contain incubator space and incentives for start-up companies.

State economic development efforts shifting

Traditional economic development efforts at the state level are undergoing increasing scrutiny as budgets are being constrained. Two new studies show a shift in focus away from traditional approaches of tax incentives and reliance on major employers, to broader strategies relying more on the private sector and human capital. A report released by the Delaware Economic Development Working Group recommends shifting many of the core responsibilities of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) to a new nonprofit. And a report focused on Indiana details the decline in footloose jobs in the state despite local government investments in business attraction, indicating a reevaluation of public policy is needed, the authors contend.

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