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Series:FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 

Discussion Paper
Locally owned: Do local business ownership and size matter for local economic well-being?
The concept of ?economic gardening??supporting locally owned businesses over nonlocally owned businesses and small businesses over large ones?has gained traction as a means of economic development since the 1980s. However, there is no definitive evidence for or against this pro-local business view. Therefore, I am using a rich U.S. county-level data set to obtain a statistical characterization of the relationship between local-based entrepreneurship and county economic performance for the period 2000?2009. I investigate the importance of the size of locally based businesses relative to all businesses in a county measured by the share of employment by local businesses in total employment. I also disaggregate employment by local businesses based on the establishment size. My results provide evidence that local entrepreneurship matters for local economic performance and smaller local businesses are more important than larger local businesses for local economic performance.
AUTHORS: Rupasingha, Anil
DATE: 2013

Discussion Paper
Social ties, space, and resilience: Literature review of community resilience to disasters and constituent social and built environment factors
Communities have faced a variety of crises in recent decades, including more frequent and severe natural disasters. As applied to disasters, resilience entails the ability of a community to rebound following a hurricane, earthquake, or other disturbance. Given the importance of resilience in promoting an effective recovery, the factors that contribute to community resilience are of great interest to scholars and practitioners in many fields. Recent work has examined, for example, socioeconomic indicators that contribute to greater social vulnerability and organizational structures that contribute to a more effective recovery. The importance of strong social networks in resilience is among the most oft-repeated lessons learned in recent scholarship. This paper examines the intersection of three connected threads in the literature to understand one particular aspect of resilience: how the built environment contributes to greater resilience by supporting and encouraging strong social networks. Given that social networks positively influence resilience and that the built environment exerts influence on social networks, this literature review examines evidence linking strong social networks, a varied and integrated built environment, and greater resilience.
AUTHORS: Carpenter, Ann
DATE: 2013

Discussion Paper
The financing experiences of nonemployer firms: evidence from the 2014 joint small business credit survey
Businesses without employees?or nonemployer firms?make up the majority of small businesses in the United States, but little is known about their financial lives, including their business financing needs and experiences. In this paper, we discuss findings from data on nonemployer firms in the 2014 Joint Small Business Credit Survey, a new annual survey by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, and Philadelphia. Our results indicate that nonemployers use financing less than employers do. They hold less debt and apply for financing at lower rates, even when controlling for revenue size. The lower demand for credit appears to be a combination of a preference to avoid debt and a perception that nonemployers will be denied if they apply. Nonemployer applicants have more difficulty being approved and are likelier to seek financing from online lenders than are employer firms. We believe that the higher denial rates that nonemployers experience are at least partially explained by the differing attributes of the group. Nonemployers are younger, likelier to cite their poor credit score as a reason for denial, and less likely to be turning a profit than are employer firms.
AUTHORS: Rosoff, Stephanie; Terry, Ellie
DATE: 2015-07-01

Discussion Paper
Fragmentation in workforce development and efforts to coordinate regional workforce development systems
The importance of human capital in regional economic competitiveness is increasingly apparent. However, structural changes, fragmentation, the instability of funding, and other factors have led to challenges for workforce development providers as well as workforce development systems. This fragmentation has created a less coherent and coordinated workforce development system. Often, metropolitan areas have many programs and policies in place to train workers for jobs that require sub-baccalaureate credentials or skills. The lack of coordination in local training systems may limit the information available to job and training seekers, create duplication of services among providers, and discourage outcome measurement and program evaluation. This paper examines many of these trends and discusses the current state of the workforce development system in the United States by using the Atlanta metropolitan area as a case study. A number of commissioned studies focused on the Atlanta metropolitan area's workforce development system are summarized as local examples of these trends, including recommendations for improving regional collaboration. Finally, lessons learned from successful regional workforce development models in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit provide guidance for forging a successful strategy for regional workforce development. These regional collaboratives suggest a way to improve information, programming, and alignment in local job training ecosystems.
AUTHORS: Andreason, Stuart; Carpenter, Ann
DATE: 2015-04-01

Discussion Paper
Resilience in planning: a review of comprehensive plans in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina
This paper analyzes and compares the decisions communities made in rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to determine to what extent post-Katrina comprehensive plans promote resilience based on built environment factors that have been shown to improve social networking, physical safety, and community building. Levels of recovery are also examined, measured by the current numbers of occupied housing units in each community compared with pre-Katrina numbers. After Katrina, multiple planning documents were produced by a variety of organizations. Mississippi state statute requires each municipality to have a long-range comprehensive plan adopted by the local governing body. Plans establish goals over a 20- to 25-year period of development and are required to address residential, commercial, and industrial development; parks, open space, and recreation; street and road improvements; and public schools and community facilities. To capture the most significant interests and values, the overarching goals and vision statements of post-Katrina plans were compared and analyzed. Plans from four Mississippi communities affected by Hurricane Katrina?Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, and Waveland?indicate that communities in the region understand many of the present strengths and weaknesses with respect to disaster resilience and have outlined a strategy to mitigate damage, reduce vulnerability, and create support networks to speed up recovery for a future disaster on the scale of Katrina. Like any plan, how and to what extent these ideals are implemented is a concern. During interviews in these communities, recurring concerns were public participation and, at the least, attention to the needs of residents in the planning process.
AUTHORS: Carpenter, Ann
DATE: 2015-01-01

Discussion Paper
Blight remediation in the Southeast: local approaches to design and implementation
Blight?or the proliferation of vacant, abandoned, or poorly maintained properties?is a critical community issue in many cities in the Southeast as in other regions of the United States, as economic shifts experienced in the past few decades have changed neighborhoods significantly. Municipalities dealing with this issue recognize what is well documented in the literature?that blight is associated with social, economic, environmental, and public health effects on neighborhoods. The recent recession has led to a surge of abandoned and bank-owned properties, disproportionately located in poor and unstable neighborhoods. The causes of blight vary by city and even by neighborhood, but many cities are dealing with blighted parcels as a result of some combination of suburbanization, population decline, job losses (particularly in the manufacturing sector), foreclosures, and natural events that render structures or lots unusable. Southeastern cities are also unique in that lower population densities often deter revitalization. {{p}} To understand how various blight remediation strategies have been implemented, we selected two case study communities for analysis, which included extensive interviews with local stakeholders. We chose New Orleans, Louisiana, and Macon, Georgia, based on their location, size, the extent of their blight issues, and their commitment to blight remediation. New Orleans and Macon have each experienced significant blight and are leaders in the Southeast in creating and refining robust strategies for combating blight. {{p}} This paper describes several findings in terms of regional blight remediation efforts. Lessons learned include the importance of data collection and visualization, the need for an overarching, jurisdiction-wide blight strategy, the value of transparent and realistic metrics, the need for strong leadership and strategic partnerships that leverage political will and resources, the need for public participation, and the effectiveness of strategies such as strong code enforcement and land banking over expropriation or eminent domain.
AUTHORS: Price, Shelley; Mitchell, Emily; Carpenter, Ann
DATE: 2015-11-01

Discussion Paper
Intrametropolitan patterns of foreclosed homes: ZIP-code-level distributions of real-estate-owned (REO) properties during the U.S. mortgage crisis
During the mortgage crisis, community developers, policymakers, and others have become increasingly concerned about the extent to which lender-owned homes, often called real-estate-owned or ?REO? properties, have accumulated in their neighborhoods and communities. REO properties are usually vacant and, especially when geographically concentrated, can have destabilizing impacts on neighborhoods and communities. However, due to data challenges, little systematic research has been done on the intrametropolitan distributions of such properties, especially across different metropolitan regions. This paper describes the accumulation of REO within different parts of metropolitan areas as of November 2008.
AUTHORS: Immergluck, Daniel
DATE: 2009

Discussion Paper
Developing Inclusive Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for Mixed-Income Housing
Over the past decade, housing costs have risen faster than incomes. The need for affordable rental housing has well outpaced the number of available units as well as funding allocations at the federal level. Local regulation and land use policies that increase the cost of subsidized, mixed-income housing construction and preservation have contributed to the affordability problem. {{p}} To meet the affordable housing needs in U.S. communities, innovation, creativity, and "out of the box" thinking may be required, particularly as it relates to reducing the rapidly increasing costs of development. Another consideration is pursuing mixed-income development, as it is more financially sustainable than low-income housing. Mixed-income neighborhoods are also desirable as they can lead to substantially better outcomes for families because the higher disposable incomes of a broader economic mix of families attract additional private investment, amenities, and opportunities. {{p}} This discussion paper explores new ideas about how affordable housing in an economically integrated, mixed-income community setting could be developed and operated in an environment of declining government subsidies. Based on interviews with housing stakeholders in Atlanta, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee, we have compiled ideas that could be scalable and replicable and could result in substantial cost savings without compromising mission, integrity, performance, or accountability. Specific suggestions include standardizing qualifying income targets and other standards imposed by funders and reducing building and permitting barriers to development, such as limited zoning for multifamily housing and regulations limiting wood frame construction. More generally, participants thought existing stakeholders could better address the underlying political environment by creating a unified constituency to advocate for more mixed-income communities. These ideas and lessons learned from the mixed-use, mixed-income revitalization experience may inform and assist cities in rebuilding or enhancing their urban core.
AUTHORS: Carpenter, Ann; Lewis Glover, Renée; Duckworth, Richard
DATE: 2017-06-01

Discussion Paper
Leading, lagging, and left behind: identifying metropolitan leaders and labor market outcomes
From 1990 to 2010, the United States underwent significant changes in the makeup of the population and its educational attainment. During the period, bachelor's degree or higher attainment proportions rose significantly?7.9 percentage points?from 20.3 percent in 1990 to 28.2 percent in 2010. This growth happened unevenly, though. Of 283 metropolitan areas, only 78 were above the 7.9 percentage point increase, suggesting much more concentrated growth than would be expected if growth were experienced evenly. This paper documents the concentration of growth and examines four labor market outcomes in the 78 "leader metros." Unexpectedly, labor market outcomes are not even or common across these metros, suggesting that growth in the proportion of the population holding a BA or higher degree will have different effects depending on local conditions. It also suggests that increasing BA+ attainment at the population level is not a solution to all labor market challenges equally. The analysis suggests that considering local products and their related demands for labor are important steps in developing human capital?based economic development strategies.
AUTHORS: Andreason, Stuart
DATE: 2015-10-01

Discussion Paper
Can Community Development Improve Health? Emerging Opportunities for Collaboration between the Health and Community Development Sectors
The two sectors of community development and health have long worked in the same neighborhoods, but they have not always worked together. This is starting to change, due in part to a growing recognition among health experts of the social, economic, and environmental factors that drive health outcomes. These social determinants of health have become the basis for new collaborations between community development and health professionals. This paper introduces professionals in both sectors to this emerging area of practice through a series of case studies of innovators in the southeastern United States. Case studies look at ways to bring housing and health professionals together, opportunities to leverage community development finance tools, and efforts to use Pay for Success to improve Medicaid spending. This discussion paper reviews early lessons on how to build a successful health and community development partnership, including an examination of the incentives for community developers, health professionals, state and local governments, and philanthropy to participate in these collaborations.
AUTHORS: Fazili, Sameera
DATE: 2017-12-01

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