Well, unless you are living underneath a rock, you know that the economy isn't doing so well at the moment and we appear to be entering a recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Depression. Let me first just say that I don't believe that this will be an actual depression. A recession has varying definitions, but a good rule of thumb is to define a recession as the time from when business activity reaches it's peak to when business activity bottoms out. It usually lasts about a year. An alternative definition is when the GDP (gross domestic product) declines two quarters in a row. A depression, however, is best defined as a decline of the GDP by more than 10%. Most forecasts I have heard have not been that severe.
That being said, there is no question that we are currently in a recession. With public funds limited, the pressure is on Main & Elm Street programs like the BBRP to produce economic results, and I think that's fair. When it comes to economic development, I believe that the expendature in public funding, in the long-run, should result in an enhancement of the economy in whatever area the funding is targetted. Accordingly, if public funds are being used for this program, we must be able to make an improvement on the economy. Given the current economic climate, this need becomes more important than ever.
How, then, can we best improve the economy? This is a question that is being discussed in great detail by program coordinators and one which we must answer. Training, business enhancement programs, Facade Programs and promotional/marketing assistance are some of the things we are currently discussing, but there are absolutely more answers.
What are your thoughts?