Economic development priorities for the downturn
In a recession, the economic development focus shifts in the short term away from expansion to retention and survival. Useful approaches during a downturn include:
Offer businesses assistance and technical advice. Business assistance will need to address immediate concerns brought on by the economic downturn.
Help laid-off workers. Some laid-off Minnesotans will need retraining. Others will benefit from job search assistance, particularly as the economy begins to recover.
Encourage entrepreneurs. State government should encourage and support entrepreneurs – including laid-off workers – as they capitalize on economic change and emerging opportunities.
Tap federal economic stimulus funding for the long-term benefit of the state. Minnesota should take full advantage of federal dollars to counteract the downturn but also to make smart investments in infrastructure, workers and places that will pay off for years to come.