Seven Strategies For Inner City Growth

Participants from a conference called the Inner City Economic Summit offer a variety of themes on "What Works" for meeting the needs of inner cities economies.

At the Inner City Economic Summit, 250 corporate, civic and city leaders from across the U.S. met for two days to discuss the challenges facing inner city economies in the United States.

The conference resulted in the following themes to align systems – including land use, capital and small business technical assistance – around an inner city's growth clusters to drive economic and business growth.

1. Equity is an economic argument-not merely one of fairness.
2. This recession is atypical; our economy is facing systemic changes that require the alignment of economic development approaches to foster job creation.
3. Collaboration is key to affecting real change. Collaborative efforts are often most successful when a neutral, third party convenes stakeholders.
4. Community foundations often lead the charge, but anchor institutions and quasi-public agencies are other neutral conveners.
5. Cities have found unique ways to grow industrial activity; each city is different and should adapt solutions that complement its own assets and needs.
6. Whether linking community capital to city growth clusters can be scaled remains to be seen.
7. Existing sources of data about underserved small businesses are insufficient.

Thanks to Mary Duggan

Full Story: A New Economy in Need of New Tools

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