Economic Incentives Strategy

We’re transforming approaches to incentives and other economic development tools in cities across the country.

Economic incentives represent a significant expenditure of local resources, in many cases eclipsing traditional investment in economic development. Today, state and local governments need to ensure that their investments are not only producing reasonable returns, but also driving public benefit and inclusive outcomes. As cities shift towards more equitable economic development policies, most are reconsidering the role of their incentives.
In undertaking this transformation, many state and local governments across the country share similar questions:

  • How effective are our incentive programs in driving desired outcomes?
  • How do we expand our goals and evaluation metrics beyond simple measures – traditionally the number of jobs or dollar value of capital investment – to increasingly more nuanced public policy objectives around promoting greater inclusivity?
  • How do we adapt our programs to improve the public return on investment for these critical tools?

We help state and local governments answer these core questions by rigorously measuring the performance of their programs, re-aligning program goals and criteria to reflect current-day public policy objectives, shaping innovative approaches that drive greater public ROI, and designing custom implementation tools for deal evaluation and performance tracking. Our work has supported cities such as Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Philadelphia in transforming their approach to incentives.