Successful economic development organizations do their homework before offering incentives. Our partners at Impact DataSource have prepared a useful guide for economic developers to follow when deciding whether a project is worthy of investment that complements our own approach to due diligence. This guide covers:

  • business background
  • community fit
  • economic impact
  • fiscal impact

Here is guest blogger Paul Scheuren’s introduction to the Due Diligence Checklist. 

A recurring nightmare for many people is arriving to school and finding out there is a test for which you haven’t studied. Luckily, I can say I have only experienced this bone-shaking fear while sleeping and never in the classroom. On a different level – after beginning triathlon racing earlier this year – I noticed that if I had trained well leading up to the race, I was much less nervous on race day and performed better. Throughout the year, we work hand-in-hand with dozens of economic developers at the point of the deal. This is the point where weeks or months of hard work meeting, coordinating, negotiating, researching, and analyzing comes down to a presentation to their elected or appointed officials where they may ask for some assistance in the form of economic development incentives. What these EDOs have taught us is just like in college class nightmares and triathlon races, being prepared always works in your favor.

It goes without saying, an impact analysis can put the deal into perspective and provide a check on “the numbers of the deal” but it’s important to remember there are other aspects that economic developers must investigate and be prepared to defend. That’s why we put together our Economic Development Due Diligence Checklist to ensure you have studied up so you can feel less nervous and perform better when presenting economic development projects.

You can download the PDF version of the Checklist here and check out the Impact DataSource blog here