The ax may fall on funding sources you’ve relied on for years—and what to do about it
According to USA Today, President Trump’s proposed budget includes cutting hundreds of domestic programs and eliminating more than 60 in their entirety. Virtually all of the 20,000 cities and towns and nearly 3,500 counties across the country have received funding from these programs. Municipalities are being forced to become self-sufficient. Just like a business, if you spend more than you bring in, you die.
This is not a call for lobbying efforts to save these programs, but a call to every community to start operating more like a business. To become a thriving community, you must find new ways to increase visitor spending (tourism), which will offset the leakage of locally earned money being spent elsewhere, and then attract new business investment and subsequent jobs into the community. For the first time in US History, quality of life is leading economic development. Once you begin increasing the local tax base, you’ll have the funds to improve the quality of life for your citizens.
To win you must:
– Find your unique selling proposition: that one thing that sets you apart and makes you the destination of choice as a place to live, invest in, or visit.
– You must build the product – your “anchor tenant” that makes you worth a special trip and worth coming back to time and again, making you the destination of choice.
– You have to find ways to tell the world who you are and what you have to offer, and you often need to do that with a minuscule budget.
Here are the economic development-focused programs that may be cut back in the proposed federal budget, according to USA Today:
– Water and wastewater loan and grant program ($498 million)
– Food for education program ($202 million)
– Economic Development Administration ($221 million)
– Weatherization Assistance Program ($121 million)
– Community Development Block Grant Program ($3 billion). This is a federal program, administered by the states, that not only affects communities, but thousands of small businesses, such as the Roger Brooks Team, that provide services to communities around the country.
– Affordable housing ($35 million)
– National Heritage Areas ($20 million)
– National Wildlife Refuge Fund ($13.2 million)
– Essential Air Service program ($175 million)
– Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery ($499 million)
– 50 EPA programs would be cut ($347 million)
– Appalachian Regional Commission ($119 million)
– Corporation for National and Community Service ($771 million)
– Delta Regional Authority ($45 million)
– Institute of Museum and Library Services ($231 million)
– National Endowment for the Arts ($152 million)
– Northern Border Regional Commission ($7 million)
– Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation ($175 million)
– Dozens of USDA programs ($4.7 billion)
Our goal is to help communities become outstanding destinations for citizens, business, investment, and visitors. We can help you find your niche, discover and develop your product, and find the best way to tell the world how special you are. If you need help, we are here for you!