Community Impact Studies.

Applicant Benefit to Community Scorecards (“ABCs”)

Recent headlines highlight numerous examples of expansion projects and “mega-deals” that have fallen apart or have not lived up to the lofty commitments made to governments and taxpayers in exchange for public subsidies. GPS created Economic Development 4.0 to address these issues and attract transformational investments that will have lasting positive impact on states, regions, communities long after the exuberance of the press release and ribbon cutting have dissipated.  Critical to achieving resilient prosperity is ensuring private and public sector actors are transparent in communicating long-term costs and benefits of economic development projects. Prior to committing taxpayer dollars for a project make sure you know your ABCs. 

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Image by Michael Browning

ABCs transform how project impacts are measured, quantified, communicated, and socialized into economic development commitments and contracts. 

Current Economic & Fiscal Impact Analyses provide meaningful insight regarding the direct, indirect, and induced effects of a project, e.g., impact on state/regional/local economy & revenues to taxing jurisdictions.  There is, however, an additional layer of complexities that most studies do not cover; project externalities.

ABCs provide both a framework for quantifying and capturing externalities as well as an opportunity to recover these otherwise hidden project costs as an offset to potential government incentive packages.  Additionally, ABCs provide an agile framework for developing environmental, social & governance (“ESG”) commitments and tracking progress towards achieving those commitments.

Hidden project impact and cost examples highlighted in ABCs:

Environmental Impact

Public infrastructure deterioration, required maintenance & improvements

Additional public employee compensation: teachers, police, fire, hospital, emergency & social services 

Potential for project commitments to be impacted by disruptive technologies


ABCs contractual commitment examples:

Offering internships, apprenticeships

Funding STEAM programs & equipment at local schools

M/WBE procurement amounts

Use of local construction firms

Volunteer hours at local start-up incubators, accelerators, community colleges

Participating in regional venture capital, angel investor groups

Benefits of using ABCs in government incentive contracts:

Effectively evaluate willingness of corporations/applicants to become a committed partner in the long-term growth & prosperity of your region

Quantify the true long-term costs and benefits of development opportunities

Proactively address potential concerns of officials and citizens

Establish a reputation for transparency and strong governance

Empowers organizations with the data required to forge optimal mutually beneficial partnerships

Reduce public revenues required to attract projects through statistically backed negotiations

More accurate forecasting of fiscal revenues & expenditures

Demonstrate fiscal discipline to credit rating agencies

Image by Tanner Crockett