Making economic development initiatives good deals for everyone

As D.C. continues to make the appeal to the technology sector for greater economic growth in the city, tax subsidies for investors and companies abound. The D.C.Fiscal Policy Institute has some recommendations for how the District can further its work to ensure that economic development initiatives are effective and beneficial to everyone. (DCFPI, 1/5)

Currently, the District has one large economic development initiative that requires the same level of thoughtful analysis – initiatives to grow the burgeoning technology (or high-tech) sector.


Focusing incentive programs on income taxes benefits very few and does nothing to help DC’s tech start-up community grow. If the District wants to promote tech investment, it can do so by providing entrepreneurs with the upfront supports and resources they need to attract investors – highly skilled employees, affordable work space, and access to experienced business expertise. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Make investments in workforce development. Ensure that District residents have the resources and capacity to take high-tech, high-skilled positions. Expand internship and mentoring programs for high school, trade school, and community college students and help small businesses access skilled labor via the District’s universities.
  • Ease access to capital. Augment efforts by the Small Business Administration to guarantee loans for long-term business financing. This may mean targeting a locally funded loan guarantee for small tech start-ups.
  • Provide affordable work space. Continue the support of tech company incubators and consider targeted property tax assistance for tech businesses with limited revenue

– The wait for a decision on which American city will be an entry for the 2024 Summer Olympics may come to an end this week. Boston, L.A., San Francisco, and Washington are the final cities who may go on to face off against other strong contenders “including Rome, a yet-to-be-named German city, and possibly Paris or South Africa.” (WAMU,1/5)

– Nine economic development questions facing Muriel Bowser (WaPo,1/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING |  With yesterday marking the first full business day of the Bowser administration, Washington City Paper takes a look at those who have been appointed to reshape housing and development in the District. (WCP, 1/5)

FOOD | At the close of year one as first lady in Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe reflects on what has been her biggest focus since husband, Governor Terry McAuliffe, took office – healthy food and improving access to it for Virginia’s children. Also, recently appointed by her husband to head the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, first lady McAuliffe will lead a number of key players in the push to bring healthy food to more communities in Virginia. (Richmond Times Dispatch, 1/5 and WUSA9, 12/19)

EDUCATION | Maryland county adds Spanish immersion programs at three elementary schools (WaPo, 1/4)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: During a recent speech marking the anniversary of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Grand Challenges” project that rewarded around 80 countries with billions of dollars to improve education and health, Bill Gates surprised everyone with the tone of his speech. His candid admissions make one thing clear – we don’t always have the perfect answers to solve the world’s problems…even if you are Bill Gates! (WaPo, 1/3)

YOUTH | Judge in Maryland Locks Up Youths and Rules Their Lives (NYT, 12/19)

Is your work space a mess? As you begrudgingly make your way back into your offices this week, here are some helpful tips for organizing your desk for maximum productivity!