CREC Project News and Updates

CREC Delivers Business Incentives Evaluation Training in Newark, Delaware

February 26, 2016

Ken Poole and Business Development Advisors (BDA) President and CREC Senior Fellow, Ellen Harpel, delivered training to Delaware economic developers on designing and improving states’ return on investment (ROI) for local tax and non-tax business incentives, while mitigating risk.

About three dozen leaders gathered at the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware to examine the critical role these incentives play and consider how they can be used in a more judicious and transparent way.

The discussion focused on trends and innovative approaches to designing impactful state and local tax and non-tax programs and basic principles to be applied in implementing effective and responsible incentive programs. The session leaders discussed ideas about how to ensure that economic development leaders achieve a suitable return on investment (ROI) while mitigating risks.

A key point is that economic developers must consider how what their states or localities are achieving by offering incentives, operate as the chief negotiator for their communities or states, and ensure that the deal they make is codified in an agreement that they are comfortable will be reviewed by every citizen. Also, economic developers need to consider how leaders can better design incentive programs so that they are more easily monitored and evaluated without resorting to claw-backs.