Here at SWRPC, we’re excited to announce a new initiative: “Our Economy: A Strategy for Southwest NH.” Our Economy is a project that aims to foster common understanding about the current state of the regional economy in Southwest NH, to develop a broadly-shared vision of future prosperity, and to chart a course towards achieving that vision. It is a process and a plan intended to guide regional economic development activities on an ongoing basis.
Although competition is a driving force in our market-based economy, Our Economy takes the view that collaboration is equally important. In order to ensure that the Southwest NH evolves as a thriving place to do business, visit, study, and call home, we’ll need to work together. It will take the joint efforts of the private sector, non-profit organizations, and public entities to address our current economic challenges. We’ll need to cooperate across town boundaries in order to remain regionally competitive in an increasingly globalized era.
Multi-sector, multi-jurisdictional collaboration of this kind requires building relationships, trust, and an improved sense of what each of us—as individuals and organizations—can contribute towards the realization of common goals. Our Economy is, in addition to a planning effort, a process for building this collective stock of social capital.
As a centerpiece for the project, SWRPC has launched a new website at www.oureconomy.info. The website will evolve over the course of the project, and will include economic analysis, project updates, draft components of the plan, and information about regional economic development projects occurring across the region. The website also offers the opportunity to sign-up for project notifications via e-mail. The about page provide more detail about specific activities that are planned as part of Our Economy.
For those of you familiar with SWRPC’s past work on regional economic development planning, Our Economy represents the latest iteration of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Southwest NH. The CEDS is a regional economic development framework promoted and supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The CEDS has been a framework used in the Monadnock Region since 2005, when the first version of the plan was developed by Southwest Region Planning Commission in coordination with its Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC). The plan was adopted by SWRPC’s Board of Directors and approved by U.S. EDA. The document has since received targeted updates, including newly available economic data as well as priority projects within the region. Although the economic landscape has shifted substantially since the first CEDS was authored, it provides useful historical context for Monadnock Future Economy. The most recently updated version of the plan can be found here.