Honors College Thesis

 

Benton County Economic Development: Supporting the Community’s Vision Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/8c97kx526

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  • Local economic development can help lessen the impact of large-scale shocks on small communities as it provides them with resilient systems that do not require as much support from global supply chains. In smaller communities, shared governance, interactive and adaptive planning, and evidence-based policymaking strategies can facilitate resilient systems. The Benton County Board of Commissioners' Office conducted public engagement events and surveys to understand what residents of the community valued. County staff coded the responses from around 4,400 community members into 32 subject categories and summarized to show the specific economic priorities of the community. I determined that the top six economic priorities of the respondents were: creating more community space, increasing accessibility within businesses, promoting local collaboration and local sourcing, increasing community events and participation, supporting employees in all businesses, and supporting women and minority business owners. In response, I created a criteria matrix to score local businesses on their activities as they relate to those priorities through an opt-in program. This program would be a small start to promoting economic resilience strategies in Benton County and further research could be conducted to better understand the attitudes of the community
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