As the US recovers from the devastating impacts of Super storm Sandy which barrelled down on the east coast, I am reminded at the amazing job that economic development professionals have played in helping rebuild staggering economies.
It is easy to see the impacts of entire cities being shut down for days, flood recovery operations and the impact on human life devastating in many cases already fragile economies.
The International Economic Development Council, (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession. When we succeed, our members create more high-quality jobs, develop more vibrant communities, and generally improve the quality of life in their regions. I say we, as I am a proud member of the IEDC board.
We have partnered with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness) on a project called www.RestoreYourEconomy.org, a pre- and post-disaster website for economic development professionals. The site provides resources and best practice information for public and private stakeholders seeking to rebuild their local economies after a major disaster as well as assisting the business community to prepare for and recover from disasters. Included in the website are articles, whitepapers, presentations, briefings, documents, website links, and other relevant resources to assist your community in the disaster preparedness and recovery process. Beyond the website, IEDC worked with volunteer crews to provide a significant level of impact on the post Hurricane Katrina impacts felt through the US South
RestoreYourEconomy.org covers such areas as
- Where can I find a list of federal resources focused on recovery assistance?
- When and how do I set up a business recovery center?
- What are the components of a successful economic recovery process and plan?
- What are some successful strategies to build resilience into the local economy?
- How do I try to encourage my local businesses to make preparations to reduce their vulnerabilities?
More importantly, Economic recovery stakeholders also can connect with their peers through social networking groups (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) to questions about their specific issues and connect with other recovery stakeholders who’ve successfully overcome the same challenges in their community. No similar organization program exists in Canada – perhaps it is time for the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) to look to the successful program to the South and make Canada as disaster prepared.
Robert Fine, Director of Economic Development