For over a decade, RMA (www.rma.us.com) has been guiding city and county leaders through the “reinvention” process using a strategic multistep approach to help communities overcome economic obstacles. Now, as cities struggle to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, the firm has created a Recovery Playbook for municipal leaders, outlining a customizable plan to help cities recover quickly. Learn more: https://rma.us.com/recovery-playbook/
“Understandably, many city leaders are overwhelmed by the convergence of problems and the realization there is no boilerplate solution,” said RMA co-founder Chris Brown. “However, there is a structured approach for developing a tailored plan which we layout in our Recovery Playbook.”
RMA’s Recovery Playbook will help city leaders switch modes from survival to recovery to growth with these 3 Steps:
1. Set up an Economic Development Recovery Team & Structure
2. Pinpoint Your City’s Economic Opportunities & Threats
3. Create the Recovery Strategy with Specific Action Items for Your City’s Needs
“Most cities are now establishing a core economic development recovery team,” said RMA co-founder Kim Briesemeister. “But the team must have a designated point person and structure. Their first mission should be an immediate assessment of where the largest impacts will be within the business community that will affect the city’s tax base.”
Many cities will feel the full brunt of the economic downturn next year, so it is imperative to understand where major issues lie in order to establish effective measures for true economic recovery, on both short-term and long-term levels.
When implementing triage measures, Briesemeister and Brown emphasize that leaders may not want to rely on presumed immediate fixes, such as city-sponsored grants or financial programs, without first evaluating the long-term ramifications.
Cities may face major revenue shortfalls from different sectors as well, so the Playbook suggests looking at three key areas for threats and opportunities: Mainstreet, Real Estate Assets and Industry Clusters that are unique to each city.
“This assessment will pinpoint risks but will also highlight possible new solutions,” she said. “For example, the loss of a large retail or industrial tenant may open business attraction possibilities for a modified grocery distribution center closer to the city center.”
“Disruption always leads to new innovations,” said Briesemeister, whose firm has attracted over $1 billion worth of private sector investment to their city clients, which continued even during the last recession.
The goal is to help leaders formulate a series of tailored economic initiatives to guide local businesses though the difficult times, while harnessing the assets that demonstrate the potential to become economic engines.
The Playbook also includes a Special Section that ponders three topics for cities to “self -assess,” including reexamining land use codes, refocusing on the ‘village mentality,’ and refining the operational processes at City Hall.
For those interested in learning more about the RMA Economic Recovery Playbook, please visit https://rma.us.com/recovery-playbook/