The main purpose of economic development is job creation, but an off-shoot of job creation is the impact it often has on the quality of life within a community. Quality of life is a broad category that attempts to define what makes a community a great place to live, work, and play. It encompasses many things such as recreation, retail, community involvement, health care, cultural activities, housing, safety, social aspects, and education opportunities. Oftentimes, economic development and quality of life have a symbiotic relationship – both improving the other and making the community a more attractive place to live. So how does economic development improve quality of life?
As companies come into a community, jobs are created which can lead to increased disposable income for a family or individual. Disposable income is often put back into the community through shopping, property investments, dining out, and travel. New industries also increase a community’s long-term stability in the face of economic downturn which in turn can pass on that stability to its employees.
With job creation often comes an influx in population within a community. A growing population also leads to an increased need for housing, improved healthcare, restaurants, and other quality of life initiatives. Retail opportunities frequently are tied to the population of a community as well. The greater the population, the more likely a location is to attract retail stores.
Increased Community Revenue
Revenue comes from several places with in the community, including property taxes (the revenue of which increases as more homes/businesses are built and occupied), Gross Receipt Tax revenue from businesses within the community, and Lodger’s taxes from hotels. Some of these revenue streams can be re-invested in community improvement projects such as infrastructure and beautification efforts. Higher revenue can mean more recreational activities, parks, and improved public works projects.
Quality of life is an important aspect to every community, especially one that hopes to expand. As Lea County grows, it looks to improve the quality of life through projects including a multi-generational recreation center, improved parks, and a new Boys and Girls Club facility. The Economic Development Corporation of Lea County works to create new jobs and recruit new industries in order to improve quality of life and make Lea County a great place to live, work, and play.