The Power Of Local Investment

Economic policy isn’t delivering on its promise to improve the lives of people in all parts of the country as it delivers generously for some and meanly for others. Is there a better way?

A slow economy

The frustration of people who suffer from a slow economy has strained their patience as demonstrated by recent elections. It may not be the end of traditional economics but it highlights the need for an inclusive approach to managing the economy.

One suggestion is for a new type of inclusive growth, which is more equal in achieving a better distribution and geographic spread. The approach would engage voters in the belief that the economic system is there to benefit everyone and not for a small few who repeatedly claim the spoils. The evidence of such growth would have to be visible in local communities, as policy makers design an economy to reach as wide a population as possible. Not least because the argument for economic equality will only be won when local economies grow in tandem with the national economy.

Efforts were made in the past as investment took place in industrial strategies and countless millions spent on the improvement of national infrastructure. This time a greater focus is needed to improve local communities, as the habit of concentrating on major centres of population doesn’t work for everyone. Jobs are created through inward investment and tourism in areas of high density and are welcome as they add value to the economy in those areas. But a complementary approach is needed to create local jobs in local communities.

Local investment matters

One way to improve local economies is to invest in local businesses and infrastructure. Such investment will build a sustainable model of economic development for non-urban areas by generating wealth locally. The creation of jobs in this way will also help address issues that affect communities without a sufficient mix of quality jobs.

Such a policy will ensure more equitable sharing of the wealth created in the economy. It will help balance the location of the majority of inward investment in cities close to universities and a young population of recruits, which reflects the reality of where many large businesses choose to locate. It will also encourage new businesses to create jobs in lower cost areas, as a way to get started and grow in the early years.

The challenge for those charged with policy is to develop flexible models of delivery that provide opportunities for everyone, regardless of where they live. Economic success is supported by the number of businesses and jobs created in an area and the amount of wealth dispersed amongst each member of the community.

So, policy-makers must develop new economic delivery models that create and distribute wealth in ways that benefit local communities.