Call It Working From Home or Remote Work, It's Here to Stay

At least for a few more years according to numerous entities reporting on the subject.

Flexjobs reports the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics data analysis showed 4.7 million people, about 3.4% of the US workforce, were already working remotely before Covid 19 hit.
Global Workplace Analytics reports remote work in the U.S has risen by 173% between 2005 and 2018. Upwork conducted a survey of 1,500 hiring managers. They predicted 36.2 million workers or 22% of Americans will be working remotely by the year 2025, an 87% increase from pre-Covid 19 levels.

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Here They Come
Florida, Here They Come

Almost 330,000 Americans Moved To Florida in the Last Year

According to Florida’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, our state grew by an estimated 329,717 new residents between April 2020 and April 2021. reports Florida was the No. 1 destination for relocating Americans in 2020. They used internal metrics, U.S. Census Bureau data, and a Pollfish survey. More than 2 million customer transactions from U-Haul migration stats shows Florida was the third most popular state, with Tennessee number one and Texas, number two. Though different sources have different results, by any measurement, Florida is popular.

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Acronyms Can Affect Economic Development

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

According to the U.S. Department of Education:
“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it's more important than ever that our nation's youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. These are the kinds of skills that students develop in science, technology, engineering, and math, including computer science—disciplines collectively known as STEM/CS. If we want a nation where our future leaders, neighbors, and workers can understand and solve some of the complex challenges of today and tomorrow, and to meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students' skills, content knowledge, and literacy in STEM fields is essential.  We must also make sure that, no matter where children live, they have access to quality learning environments. A child's zip code should not determine their STEM literacy and educational options.”

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Inflation, Cost of Living, Unemployment and Economic Development

These days it seems that nearly everyone has an opinion about the state of our nation’s economy, and the subject of inflation is at the forefront of these debates.  The administration tells us there is no inflation. On the other hand the Federal Reserve says it’s just temporary. It does make you wonder how both can be true.

The simple definition of inflation is prices of goods rising over time and the value of currency declining. It takes more money to buy what we need. Some spend instead of saving because they know their money will buy less and earn less in the future. Many refer to inflation as a hidden tax. The middle class and the poor are affected the most of course. Those on fixed incomes really suffer.

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Big Tech Economic Development
Is Big Tech A Threat to Economic Development?

Amazon has now surpassed Walmart as the nation’s leading retailer, purchasing more than 100 companies since its inception. They own portions of many other companies and have plans to purchase more in the future. It seems like they sell everything. We are addicted to ordering from Amazon due to low prices, vast choices and fast delivery.

During 2020, the Covid “lockdowns” caused many businesses to close their doors. At the same time, Amazon’s sales increased by 38%, making $386 billion dollars. Many local businesses were deemed “non-essential” and had to close their doors for a period of time – some never to reopen

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History - Why It is Important to Economic Development

Why is history important to economic development?

History is part of what creates a sense of place. You will often here that phrase in economic development. A community wants their place to be a desirable destination.

Every city or town has some kind of history and some interesting, quirky and/or beautiful features.
In my economic development work, I have had to examine many community websites. Some are good and some are bad. The good ones dedicate some space to showcase the unique attributes of the community. Everyone has something to highlight. Some just don’t take advantage of this opportunity.

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Borders and Economic Development
Borders, Immigration and Economic Development

Why do we have borders? What are they for?

Borders are organizational tools, aren’t they? Countries are defined by their borders on the map. They are also defined by their laws, government leaders at all levels and often language and culture. Governments control their borders and protect their borders.

Borders also define states and counties. While economic development is often regional in aspiration, results are often specific to counties and cities.

Without borders we wouldn’t know where we are. We wouldn’t know what laws might be different depending on how many miles we drove in any direction. We could get in a lot of trouble.

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Safe Neighborhood
Safe Neighborhoods and Economic Development

Are Inextricably Entwined

Did you know the Department of Justice has a nation-wide Project Safe Neighborhoods program? Their website states:

“…the program is based on the fundamental principle that law enforcement agencies and communities must work together to address violent crime to make our neighborhoods safer”

PSN is a community-based violence reduction strategy in which each local program is designed to address the specific violent crime problem in each district. Every U.S. Attorney across the country is implementing a PSN program tailored to the needs of his or her district.”

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Family Economic Devlopment
The Family & Economic Development

What does the family have to do with economic development? I will answer that question, but please bear with me for a moment.

During this, very different, Christmas season, it is even more important to value and cherish our families.

This is especially true in light of the attack on the family. Yes, the attack. An unfortunately-prominent activist group has published on their website, their goal of eliminating the “nuclear family.” This family unit has two parents and any number of children. Several years ago, someone wrote children should be raised by a “village.” The nuclear family, of course, in no way, reduces the positive impact of the extended family.

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Freedom Florida
Freedom and Economic Development

Thanksgiving in Florida 

One could argue the United States has been a great location for economic development. It must be, since millions of people have always come from other countries to start a new life. This of course, includes starting a new job or business. We can look back to the Mayflower this Thanksgiving season to find an example of this travel to America to obtain freedom and the desire to have more control over one’s destiny. The United States has become the most powerful, influential and prosperous country in the world. We have also been the most free.

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