According to community economics advocate Michael Shuman, mainstream economic development today is a scam. States and local government agencies spend big money to lure corporations to their region but do little to stimulate the local economy or support local businesses. And those small businesses, not the chain stores, are often what give a neighborhood its unique identity and make it desirable to live in.
In his new book, The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative Self-Financing “Pollinator” Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity (Chelsea Green, June 2015), Shuman debunks many of the myths around economic development—that tax breaks for wealthy corporations are beneficial for all, that only big businesses create jobs, that consumers only care about price, and that social enterprises can't be self-financing.
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