Economic Development is a sometimes a subject of which people know very
little and is often misunderstood. This section of our website aims to
answer some of the questions often asked about economic development.
What is economic development?
Why do we do economic development?
What are primary jobs?
What are the indirect impacts of new job creation?
What is a multiplier?
Who are other organizations that market
Eastland and Texas for development?
How do we attract new businesses?
Why do companies choose one location over another?
What are existing industry Retention and
Eastland Officials, Boards, and Leaders
Meet Quarterly to Advance Eastland
Economic Development usually takes three forms:
• Business attraction
• Business retention and expansion
• Business creation
In the City of Eastland area, business attraction is carried out by the
Eastland Economic Development Corporation, business retention and
expansion is the responsibility of the Eastland Chamber of Commerce, by
contract with the Eastland Economic Development Corporation.
Additionally the Eastland Industrial Foundation is responsible for
acquiring property for future development. All though these three
organizations are responsible for separate programs its worth noting
they work closely together on strengthening the area economy.
All three forms of economic development aim to create new primary jobs
that pay more than the prevailing wage, increase the amount of income
coming into the community from outside its market area, and create
greater capital investment in the community. The strategy is to achieve
this in a number of diversified industries.
we do economic development?
Economic development has three main purposes:
To give a greater number of people greater access to
wealth through personal economic growth
To increase the tax base of communities in order to
provide higher quality public services to citizens
To diversify the economic base and thereby cushion
the community against economic shocks
What are primary jobs?
"Primary" or, as they are sometimes called, "export income" jobs are
defined as jobs which produce goods and services in excess of what can
be consumed in the local marketplace. This is what creates the flow of
new wealth into the community. An example of a business sector which
does not create export income is the retail sector. This is because the
shopping centers located within an area are typically spending money
that has already been "created" by primary employers in that area. It is
not "new money." However, the definition of "primary or export income"
employment changes depending on the definition of the market.
What are the indirect
impacts of new job creation?
As a result of creating new jobs, the demand for goods and services
generated by the primary employer is increased and "indirect" or
"spin-off" jobs are created. These jobs do not create wealth. They are
the product of "wealth" created by primary employment. Generally, they
are jobs like retailing, lawyers, doctors, government workers,
non-profit employment, etc. These occupations provide services to
primary jobs. They may also include jobs that meet the required "input"
needs of primary jobs.
What is a multiplier?
Spin-off or indirect jobs are typically associated with the term
"multiplier." The term "multiplier" comes from a series of economic
calculations that estimates the number of jobs required to meet the
needs of one primary job. The larger the multiplier, the greater the
economic impact of the primary job. Two things determine the size of the
multiplier: average wage paid to the primary employee and the amount and
cost of "inputs" required for the primary employee to accomplish his or
Retail is seldom a good primary employer, in terms of wealth creation,
because of the old adage, "retail follows rooftops." In other words,
retail must follow customers and those customers are created through
primary employment’s wealth generating ability.
A mature regional economy that offers a wide array of goods and services
for purchase by the primary job will also have a larger multiplier than
a smaller market. In other words, a diverse economy "holds on" to the
primary worker’s income longer. In an immature market the dollar exits
more quickly, thereby reducing the multiplier lacking many of the goods
and services demanded by the primary job.
Who are other
organizations that market Eastland and Texas for development?
How do we attract new
Attraction activities, performed in Eastland by the Eastland economic
Development Corporation, usually start with an analysis of targeted
industries or "clusters". This process analyzes the growing industrial
segments of the national economy and compares these growth sectors with
the local community’s industrial base. It examines why these sectors are
growing or not growing in the local community. It determines reasons why
some segments are not suited for the local economy (too distant from
markets, workforce shortages, too smelly, etc.) and what gaps might be
filled to make the local community more desirable to these companies. It
looks at companies that are a "good fit" for the community and that can
diversify the local economic base.
Business attraction programs then develop an advertising and marketing
effort, usually a combination of the following:
Some marketing methods are more effective than others.
The combination used also depends upon the available budget. The
marketing program aims to generate interest from companies in relocating
to the community. The economic development organization then needs to be
well positioned to provide information and assistance to those
Why do companies choose
one location over another?
There are a multitude of reasons ranging from reducing operating costs,
gaining better access to skilled labor, establishing a presence in a
particular time zone, diversifying risk, or the owner may want to enjoy
a better quality of life. Every industry, company and corporate
executive is different. It is the role of an economic developer to
understand a company’s needs and to portray the area in a positive
light. This is most effectively done by providing detailed and accurate
data about the community including comparisons to competing areas.
Sometimes the information speaks for itself and the company has an easy
decision to make. Other times the data may be similar between areas and
incentives may come in to play.
According to the Area Development magazine’s Corporate Survey of
corporate decision makers, the top 10 site selection criteria are:
Availability of skilled labor
Energy availability and costs
Availability of telecommunications services
Occupancy or construction costs
State and local incentives
Proximity to major markets
Availability of land
Remember… a community is not judged by where it is today.
It is judged by where the community is going. It was the community’s
forward momentum that drives corporate expansion interest.
The Eastland area is in an excellent position to attract qualified
primary employers. Through its strong leadership, available workforce,
superior quality of life, and most importantly, its strong vision, the
Eastland area is and will continue to be an excellent place to call
What are existing
industry Retention and Expansion programs?
Over 80% of all jobs created in a local economy come from existing
industry. Any good economic development program has a retention program.
In Eastland, this area of economic development is managed by the
Eastland Chamber of Commerce.
For an existing industry retention and expansion program to accomplish
its goals, it must have two components:
A strategic element that focuses on public
Communities with good capital investment programs, attentive
training institutions, moderate tax and regulatory environments and
affordable housing are always desirable locations. These elements
can be achieved with a strong vision from elected officials,
government employees and the private sector working jointly. The
same things that attract new employers will keep existing firms.
Value-added services which are meaningful to the
This requires direct assistance from the local economic development
organization. Providing such things as regulatory and training
assistance, new business leads, competitor analysis, technology
advances, marketing assistance, and so on, provide a needed "value
added" service to local employers. A full understanding of "who" are
primary employers, their strategic directions and the components of
their success should dictate the types of services provided.