Variety is the Spice of Economic Development

Every community has its own “bread and butter,” as they say, when it comes to their economies. For some, it’s agriculture, for others, oil, and some, manufacturing and everything in between. Each community has an industry that distinguishes it, something that gave it its start. Whether it was agriculture, manufacturing, or some other industry that gave birth to a town, staying a “one-note” location can make growth and expansion difficult. Instead, it can be beneficial to embrace a variety businesses and industries since development is essential, especially in growing communities.

There are several factors that come into play when discussing variety within a community. Why is diversity good for the economy? What benefits come to the people in the community who experience the new businesses?

Economic Growth

The more employers and businesses in an area, the more diverse the economy will be and the more it has potential to grow, such as through an increase in Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) revenue and increased populations which lead to an increase in property tax revenue. These monies can then be used to invigorate and expand the local community. A diversified economy is good insurance against downturns in a specific industry – no industry is immune to high and low points, but a community that embraces new businesses may be able to smooth out the dips between those times and remain at a healthy level of employment and income. Economic growth stems from diverse businesses that bolster the stability of the local economy.

Job Creation

With a variety of businesses comes a variety of jobs. Skillsets are different for each job, and by having a plethora of employers, it provides a broader range of opportunities to people within the community. This creates a more resilient workforce that can bounce back after industry setbacks which unfortunately come around every so often. Job creation also leads to higher revenue for a community and encourages a growing population.

Community Growth

Communities benefit greatly from a diverse economy due to expanding skill levels along with gaining new and different businesses such as retail and manufacturing. A growing economy means a growing population as well, which often enhances community spirit and provides new opportunities to expand horizons and get to know others in the process. As population grows, it can create a richer, more fulfilling place to live. New influxes of people can raise the revenue and that is often put back into the community through beautification efforts, community activities, services, and infrastructure.

By bringing in new industries, areas can experience growth and stability on a larger scale. For smaller communities (and larger ones as well), diversity encourages job creation and economic stability for the future.

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