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7 Benefits of Having a Strategic Plan for a Community's Local Economic Development


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In an article titled, Blueprints for Your Community’s Future: Creating a Strategic Plan for Local Economic Development, the authors discuss the importance of a strategic plan, and the benefits of strategic planning for a community. 

In order for a community to succeed in economic development it must "know where it wants to go and how it is to get there. A strategy is simply a plan or a road map showing how to get there. Also stated in the article is that "Strategic planning implies forward thinking and anticipation of the future. Resources will be utilized and decisions made to achieve desired future goals. Strategic planning is the process of identifying future goals and how to achieve them" (Model, C. A. R. E., 1999).

The seven benefits of strategic planning that will pay big dividends to communities that were mentioned in the article are outlined below:

1. Outline the steps to follow. Economic development does not just happen. It requires the community to identify a number of intermediate steps to reach its final goals.

2. Promote efficient use of scarce resources. A significant amount of money, time, and people will be required for economic development efforts and these limited resources must not be wasted. The plan will provide rational for resources allocation.

3. Improve coordination. Many programs, activities, groups, and individuals will be involved in the development effort and its is important that they not overlap or conflict. The plan will serve as a communication vehicle for developing activities.

4. Build consensus. The public and the private sector must agree on the major issues involved. This will lead to support in implementing the plan.

5. Increase public awareness. Without public support, economic development cannot happen. It is important that the public know how development occurs and how it affects the community.

6. Strengthen the community’s competitive position. A community with a strategy will not only be more like to succeed, it will appear more attractive to potential business or industry, than a community without a plan.

7. Encourage forward thinking. The strategy will encourage community leaders to think about the future and to not overlook opportunities for development as they arise.

Nadine Muhammad has a Master of Science in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. She is the owner of an online bookstore Nation's Products.

Do you need more information on developing a strategic plan for your community or writing a business plan for your company?,  email:



Model, C. A. R. E. (1999). Blueprints for your community’s future: Creating a strategic plan for local economic development.


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