Policy for Local Economic Development

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Brian Hales:

"Michael (Shuman) outlined an alternative approach with 4 rules:

  • Maximise local ownership – a dollar spent locally has over double the income and tax effects than spending on non-local
  • Maximise local self-reliance – this does not infer a closed economy but rather, one which can evolve with the capability to engage nationally and internationally. He cites the Zingerman’s story, a delicatessen that needed to grow to retain good managers. Rather than expand horizontally ie more of the same, it chose to deepen its growth by establishing new businesses associated with its traditional business expertise eg bread production evolved into sandwich production; customer service spawned a training business; ice cream and cheese led to a creamery: in all, 10 new independent businesses were established that collaborate around brand. The key learnings were that this was done by private business and the focus was on the cluster/points of competitiveness.
  • Spread models of triple bottom line businesses – setting high labour and environmental standards
  • Create an entrepreneurial eco-system – this is where the “pollinators” come in: planning pollinators who work with local businesses to reduce their business overheads (eg through interrogating business invoices to determine who is being ‘overcharged’ and subsequently arrange a better deal); people pollinators who work intensively with businesses and then take a stake in the business as their fee (the business can buy them out); partnership pollinators (eg organising to buy supplies in bulk to secure discounts); purse pollinators who harness local savings for local investment; purchasing pollinators who spearhead ‘local first’ campaigns; policymaking pollinators who work to remove anti-local bias."