Economic Development Programmatic Areas
So why the need for the Economic Development Department? We at LINC strongly believe that you cannot have a thriving community without a thriving business district. We can focus on neighborhood services and housing services, but without the economic development component, we are not revitalizing our neighborhoods to their fullest potential. Sustainable businesses create jobs and occupy commercial space in the business district.
We view revitalization through a holistic approach, and realize that without housing services, neighborhood services, and economic development, there won't be long term sustainable social change in our neighborhoods. Economic Development will be there to support and mentor new and existing businesses and to enhance the business districts of the neighborhoods we serve in.
As any entrepreneur can attest, starting a new business isn’t an easy task. Most business owners know every detail of their product or service, but many lack all of the skills they need to turn their ideas into successful firms. Below are other hindrances that small businesses face:
1. Hindering of growth of businesses due to start up costs
2. Lack of access to resources
3. Lack of information and training
4. Business fundamentals, because currently the capacity of business owners is in the product and not in management
5. Lack of access to financing in neighborhood businesses
6. Lack of affordable lease space in the Business District
The Business District also faces challenges which make it difficult to thrive. Some of the challenges we will find a solution for will include:
1. Existing strong businesses don't consider locating in local districts
2. Perception of lack of economic power in the neighborhood
3. Government resources don't allow or prioritize district redevelopment
4. Perceptions of crime in the local districts reduces desirability of businesses to move into the district
5. Lack of quality commercial space
6. Physical attributes of business district
7. Perception of lack of economic purchasing power in the neighborhood to sustain more businesses moving into the district
Overall, LINC will focus on retaining and strengthening local commercial districts while positioning businesses in a dynamic urban hub for entrepreneurship in the heart of Southtown.