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Column: Local economic development trend questionable in Indiana

Local economic development organizations have been challenged severely in the past few years.

Some have been absorbed by the local chamber of commerce. Others have joined forces with their counterparts in other counties to become regional agencies. A local economic development organization can continue to exist, but it becomes less visible as part of a larger organization.

The chief problem is no one knows how to measure the efficacy of a local economic development organization, but boards of directors want performance metrics so they (the board) will appear to be responsible. When such metrics are not forthcoming, it becomes hard to justify a local economic development organization’s expenditures of public and private funding.

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