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NC State Extension

Local Economic Development

Local Economic Development refers to an approach that begins at the roots of the community. Development that grows from the inside out will be more closely aligned with the values, and aspirations of the people who reside in the community and therefore more sustainable.

This process recognizes that community development and economic development are closely intertwined. The overarching goal is to draw upon the skills and talents of the local residents and to use those strengths as the foundation for future development. This concept is sometimes called Community and Economic Development (CED) or the strength-based approach to community development.

The following list of resources may be useful in helping communities design their economic future: