Economic Development Plan
City Council adopted an Economic Development plan for the City of Shaker Heights on Monday, November 8, 2010.
The Economic Development Strategy is a framework of action that is designed to produce positive financial results while being judicious in the use of limited City resources. It proposes a variety of action items and policy interventions that are designed to enhance the City’s level of office-oriented and business activities. The plan envisions both a strategic and tactical response that includes:
- financial incentives to commercial property owners;
- financial incentives to businesses seeking to expand or locate in Shaker Heights;
- investments in upgrading programs and operations that address Shaker businesses and commercial properties;
- and an aggressive marketing, branding, and business recruitment effort
This strategy has identified key segments of the Cleveland metropolitan business community that can and will be targeted in this effort, as well as key commercial districts in Shaker Heights that will be targeted for investment and reinvestment. When Shaker Heights becomes successful in growing these segments – ambulatory health care and social services, design, government and legal services, and information services – it will strengthen its fiscal base and set the stage for long-term economic health.
The recommendations of the plan significantly increase the City’s ability to diversify its tax base and generate the level of density required to support the types of amenities – restaurants and retail – that our community is clamoring for.
The strategy is a roadmap that Council and the Administration will use as a guide in structuring City processes and evaluating business opportunities. The strategy includes a toolkit that we can employ to create a climate that invites private investment.
It is now up to us as a community to implement this plan. Shaker Heights’ greatest asset has always been its residents. In many ways, the most critical components of this plan are around the marketing and outreach efforts which can only be successful if our community embraces the plan and engages in its implementation. The City Administration looks forward to a partnership of staff, elected officials, residents and existing businesses to create vibrant commercial districts that complement our distinctive community.
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Economic Development Plan Process
In April of 2010, the City of Shaker Heights (“the City”) retained RCLCO to prepare an economic development plan for Shaker Heights. The overall purpose of the plan was to find ways to expand the City’s tax base, property, and income, and expand development efforts that would accomplish that goal. In constructing the plan, the City asked RCLCO to answer the following questions:
- What are the current obstacles to business development in Shaker Heights and what should the City do so that it is known as “business-friendly”?
- How does the city most effectively recruit businesses? What incentives and programs should be offered, if any?
- Given the regional economy and Shaker Heights’ competitive position in it, what business segments can and should the City attempt to recruit and retain?
- How should the City allocate its limited economic development resources? How much money can be devoted to incentives and financial assistance to revitalize existing buildings and encourage new development?
The objectives of the economic development plan were confirmed and refined at weekly meetings with City staff, periodic advisory group sessions and site visits. The City hosted a public meeting to solicit feedback on the key tenets of the Economic Development Plan on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Over one hundred residents attended the session and provided input on the plan elements in five breakout sessions. The plan was also vetted by the City’s Economic Development Task Force on October 28 in City Hall Council Chambers. The final plan was presented to City Council on November 8, 2010.