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Community economic development (CED) is a field of study that actively elicits community involvement when working with government, and private sectors to build strong communities, industries, and markets.[1]

Community economic development encourages using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a sustainable way. Often CED initiatives are implemented to overcome crises, and increase opportunities for communities who are disadvantaged. An aspect of “localizing economics,” CED is a community-centered process that blends social and economic development to foster the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities. For example, neighborhood business organizations target growth in specific commercial areas by lobbying government authorities for special tax rates and real estate developments.[2]

Community economic development is an alternative to conventional economic development. Its central tenet is that: “... problems facing communities—unemployment, poverty, job loss, environmental degradation and loss of community control—need to be addressed in a holistic and participatory way.” [3]

History

Economic development has existed even at a basic level since the earliest recorded communities. However, in the US and several other countries, the concept of Community economic development emerged "in response to tenacious poverty and the need for affordable housing, good jobs, affordable health care and quality of life matters needed for human existence."[4]

CED in the US

In the late 19th century reformers discovered less than desirable areas of the country where communities were overcrowded, unhealthy, poor and centered near factories, docks and various other places of employment. In the early twentieth century during the Progressive Era reformers began making connections between the condition of communities and "social ills" such as crime and poverty and ways to improve upon them.[5] The Progressive agenda of political, social, and physical reform swept the nation and led to comprehensive antipoverty strategies, embodied by New Deal programs and other grants in the 1930s. Policies during this time were top-down and citizens being affected had very little input to the changes being made. Once communities began to be revitalized, segregation policy followed to determine who was allowed to live where. Housing

Community economic development encourages using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a sustainable way. Often CED initiatives are implemented to overcome crises, and increase opportunities for communities who are disadvantaged. An aspect of “localizing economics,” CED is a community-centered process that blends social and economic development to foster the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities. For example, neighborhood business organizations target growth in specific commercial areas by lobbying government authorities for special tax rates and real estate developments.[2]

Community economic development is an alternative to conventional economic development. Its central tenet is that: “... problems facing communities—unemployment, poverty, job loss, environmental degradation and loss of community control—need to be addressed in a holistic and participatory way.” [3]

Economic development has existed even at a basic level since the earliest recorded communities. However, in the US and several other countries, the concept of Community economic development emerged "in response to tenacious poverty and the need for affordable housing, good jobs, affordable health care and quality of life matters needed for human existence."[4]

CED in the US

In the late 19th century reformers discovered less than desirable areas of the country where communities were overcrowded, unhealthy, poor and centered near factories, docks and various other places of employment. In the early twentieth century during the Progressive Era reformers began making connections between the condition of communities and "social ills" such as crime and poverty and ways to improve upon them.[5] The Progressive agenda of political, social, and physical reform swept the nation and led to comprehensive antipoverty strategies, embodied by New Deal programs and other grants in the 1930s. Policies during this time were top-down and citizens being affected had very little input to the changes being made. Once communities began to be revitalized, segregation policy followed to determine who was allowed to live where. Housing policy and real estate practices stifled upward mobility for non-whites and their communities developed with unique characteristics and problems as a result. These actions shaped communities until the 1960s, when President LBJ signed into law many anti-discriminatory laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also declared a war on poverty which brought renewal and upward mobility for many people. More loan programs, grants and fair housing policies were implemented throughout the 60's and 70's but still failed to be non-discriminatory on the basis of race in some cases thus shaping communities in a particular fashion. Social investment gained momentum once again in the 80's and 90's bringing change to communities across America. Municipal governments become more representative of the communiti

In the late 19th century reformers discovered less than desirable areas of the country where communities were overcrowded, unhealthy, poor and centered near factories, docks and various other places of employment. In the early twentieth century during the Progressive Era reformers began making connections between the condition of communities and "social ills" such as crime and poverty and ways to improve upon them.[5] The Progressive agenda of political, social, and physical reform swept the nation and led to comprehensive antipoverty strategies, embodied by New Deal programs and other grants in the 1930s. Policies during this time were top-down and citizens being affected had very little input to the changes being made. Once communities began to be revitalized, segregation policy followed to determine who was allowed to live where. Housing policy and real estate practices stifled upward mobility for non-whites and their communities developed with unique characteristics and problems as a result. These actions shaped communities until the 1960s, when President LBJ signed into law many anti-discriminatory laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also declared a war on poverty which brought renewal and upward mobility for many people. More loan programs, grants and fair housing policies were implemented throughout the 60's and 70's but still failed to be non-discriminatory on the basis of race in some cases thus shaping communities in a particular fashion. Social investment gained momentum once again in the 80's and 90's bringing change to communities across America. Municipal governments become more representative of the communities they serve and the public is more involved and can interact with bureaucracies and elected officials with greater ease. Many initiatives existed at this time to renew inner cities and rural areas while also tackling social issues such as eradicating drugs and improving education. The modern day CED movement is focused on renewing urban and rural communities. Social justice is a key component to policy and conversation about changes to be made[citation needed]. Citizens are engaged with bureaucracies and their elected officials through a variety of mediums such as social media. Input from the people has gained more value due to increased demands for transparency.

CED around the world

In the US, Community Economic Development projects are often funded by commercial banks within the structure of the Community Reinvestment Act. This Act of Congress took effect in November, 1978. It is administered by banks and other financial institutions and has been instrumental in helping the owners of smaller businesses navigate the steps of obtaining loans for development projects. A bank will operate a separate division within their loan department that focuses its expertise on small business services, as well as training and education. Because projects brought to CRA bank departments are often from areas of lower economic standing and/or unproven consumer markets, they are a larger risk to lenders. This heavier risk brings more stringent underwriting guidelines, in addition to often rigid government requirements. Many financial institutions state that these rules are cumbersome and difficult to comply with.

As a career

There are several CED corporations and nonprofits that employ Community Economic Development Officers to implement development plans.

Those involved in implementing a Community Economic Development Plan – not only the development officers, but also public administrators and small business owners – will serve different functions, as plans vary from community to community. The community economic development officer will create studies to determine what a certain community's goals are and send them to the appropriate municipal offices or economic development committees. A community economic development officer will assist in implementing a development plan by researching local zoning ordinances and laws, helping community partners acquire financing for economic development, acting as a liaison with various local, state, and federal agencies, making recommendations to the appropriate authorities on

In Brazil, the Banco Palmas has established Community Economic Development initiatives through the use and development of a community currency. The community has prospered and has been widely adopted so that by 2011 there were 43 community banks within the country using the Banco Palmas model. The Brazilian government has since encouraged the movement and in 2015 there were more than 100 initiatives in various parts of the country.

In the US, Community Economic Development projects are often funded by commercial banks within the structure of the Community Reinvestment Act. This Act of Congress took effect in November, 1978. It is administered by banks and other financial institutions and has been instrumental in helping the owners of smaller businesses navigate the steps of obtaining loans for development projects. A bank will operate a separate division within their loan department that focuses its expertise on small business services, as well as training and education. Because projects brought to CRA bank departments are often from areas of lower economic standing and/or unproven consumer markets, they are a larger risk to lenders. This heavier risk brings more stringent underwriting guidelines, in addition to often rigid government requirements. Many financial institutions state that these rules are cumbersome and difficult to comply with.

As a career

There are several CED corporations and nonprofits that employ Community Economic Development Officers to implement development plans.

Those involved in implementing a Community Economic Development Plan – not only the development officers, but also public administrators and small business owners – will serve different functions, as plans vary from community to community. The community economic development officer will create studies to determine what a

Those involved in implementing a Community Economic Development Plan – not only the development officers, but also public administrators and small business owners – will serve different functions, as plans vary from community to community. The community economic development officer will create studies to determine what a certain community's goals are and send them to the appropriate municipal offices or economic development committees. A community economic development officer will assist in implementing a development plan by researching local zoning ordinances and laws, helping community partners acquire financing for economic development, acting as a liaison with various local, state, and federal agencies, making recommendations to the appropriate authorities on community economic development, and serving as an advocate within a community.[8]

Most employers require a bachelor's degree in Economics or Community Development as a minimum. For better opportunities, pursuing a Master of Public Planning, Urban Planning, Economic Development, or Community Economic Development is recommended.[8] The annual median salary for a Community Economic Development Officer in the United States is $64,028.[9]