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Student Corner: CDFIs and Small Business Lending

February 19, 2015

Previous blog posts have discussed the role of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in North Carolina. CDFIs are typically smaller financial institutions that engage in mission-drive lending intended to expand access to capital in low-wealth and underserved communities in order to fo … Read more

Food Trucks, Waste, and Economic Opportunity

January 27, 2015

How do you turn a small urban park into a massive culinary festival? Invite 45 food trucks to show up for the afternoon. Planning a sunny 50 degree day after a week of rain helps as well. “Food truck rodeos” have become a popular way of bringing people into urban areas to support small businesses an … Read more

Student Corner: Broadband Internet as a Municipal Service

November 20, 2014

The role of municipalities in providing high-speed Internet access may change in the near future. In July, Wilson, North Carolina and Chattanooga, Tennessee, both of which have public optical fiber networks, petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address laws in numerous states re … Read more

City of Greensboro’s SC2 Challenge: Using A Prize Competition for Economic Development

August 19, 2014

In September 2012, the City of Greensboro was awarded a $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to administer an “Economic Visioning Challenge,” as part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative. This post describes SC2, the “Challenge,” and Greensboro’s focus a … Read more

Student Corner: Supporting Entrepreneurship in Beaufort County

July 3, 2014

In April, Rick Morse wrote on this blog about local councils, common purpose, and collaboration, and particularly the role an organized council can play in bringing common purpose to a collaboration. Quoting Mary Parker Follett, an early scholar of organizational behavior, Morse writes that “when pe … Read more

STEM Jobs: More than Meets the Eye?

April 1, 2014

Jobs that specialize in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are a major focus in efforts to promote economic development in a knowledge-based economy.  The general assumption is that most of these jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree.  A recent report by the Brookings Institution … Read more

Student Corner: Using a Crisis to Localize Your Rural Economy

January 23, 2014

Imagine that the employer your community has depended on for decades shuts down unexpectedly. Suddenly, ten-thousand people are now out of work and the local economy is in flux as residents begin searching for employment in neighboring municipalities. How do you respond to the sudden uncertainty and … Read more

Five Possible “Game Changers” for Economic Development in the U.S.

September 10, 2013

The economic recovery in the U.S. has not gained enough steam in order to produce significant increases in private investment and job creation.  While the overall unemployment rate has steadily declined, the level of joblessness, particularly for certain segments of the workforce, remains very high. … Read more

Student Corner: Food Trucks, Local Regulation, and Community Economic Development

August 16, 2013

With the growing popularity of food trucks, cities and towns across North Carolina are considering strategies to regulate the increasing number of mobile vendors selling meals while also recognizing the value of food trucks in terms of community & economic development. A food truck is a mobile, … Read more

Student Corner: Small Business Access to Capital (Part V): Crowdfunding

June 20, 2013

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts on tools available to local governments to assist small businesses. Previous posts have covered revolving loan funds (parts I and II), loan loss reserves (III) and capital sources for loan funds (IV). The fifth topic in this series is crowdfunding. The his … Read more