Economic inclusion is a long term perspective that focuses on increasing incomes for traditionally excluded groups. Broad economic inclusion is essential because it bolsters consumption and savings, which drives macroeconomic growth. In order to promote efficient economic growth and stability, all citizens must have affordable access to the tools necessary to function in the modern economy. One obstacle to true success is a lack of economic inclusion. A lack of economic inclusion causes an economic inefficiency, as not all members of our community are truly participating in our economy. The number one question asked by businesses seeking a new location is workforce related.
The City of Cleveland implemented an Economic Development Plan for Economic Inclusion designed to encourage and promote entrepreneurs, cooperatives, emerging and existing small businesses, minority businesses and to support the growth of existing businesses that can provide quality jobs by providing information on resources, by providing access to capital and by providing physical space for their companies.
Many of the City’s efforts represent public/private as well as public/private/philanthropic partnerships. Working together with other organizations leverages our resources to maximize benefit to the community without costly duplication of resources. The plan consists of the following efforts:
- Business Retention – Our growth relies on retaining our existing companies and creating an environment where they can grow and create new jobs
- Creation of New Businesses – The City needs to have a positive business climate for the creation and/or attraction of new businesses
- Attraction of Investment – The City needs to be able to attract investment by developers, venture capital and individual businesses
- Procurement – With so much investment happening currently, the City has implemented strategies so our entire community can participate in our growth
- Workforce – Our existing companies and new businesses need a skilled workforce - we need to train for the jobs of tomorrow
The City of Cleveland has also implemented a number of strategies to address economic inclusion. Multiple laws have been passed by the City Council and were implemented to encourage participation for various excluded groups including:
- Chapter 187 – Minority, Female and Certified Small Business Participation
- Chapter 188 – Cleveland Resident Employment
- Chapter 189 – Living Wage
- Chapter 187A – Local Producer