“While the presence of an economic base is important for all businesses in a region, it’s critical for the real estate market. In the absence of an economic base, other businesses could advertise to try and draw people from other areas, find ways to export their products or services outside their area or simply close up shop, take their labor and inventory and open in a new location.”
Some of us read the passage above and undoubtedly were reminded of similar conditions that have befallen our communities. Many of us living in the under-served parts of the US know all too well the feeling of rejection and abandonment as a collective community of generations of families and neighbors. We thrive though, and not because of that. That being an attempt on our resilience. Oftentimes, stores are erected in a given neighborhood consisting of working class, low-income families and individuals by proprietors that have no connection to-or sensibility to-the culture or challenges of the community. Without a common direction and consistent economic base in place, the under-served community is open to whatever the wind may bring.
Existing without an economic base is proving more detrimental than ever as gentrification steadily plagues the market and the city of (insert major US city here _____________).
What not having an economic base means for an under-served community:
- Constant turnover of chain stores that don’t serve the community; facilitating the exploitation and depletion of the (limited) resources in any given under-served community in the US.
- New businesses implanting commuter-staff, purposefully bypassing local candidates. With the arrival of new businesses, there are more opportunities for employment within a community. Most work is outsourced with little or no input from community members and none of the money stays in the community. There are more jobs in the neighborhood, but they’re not going to any longtime residents or committed community members. If, by chance, we are employed by one of the implant businesses, we are open to job termination due to fluctuating business markets in the under-served community.
- Community members supply the majority of the revenue to these stores and the companies that house them.
- We are actively divesting from ourselves.
- Inflation: the most critical disadvantage of having no existing economic base in a given community. Inflation stands to dismantle any system set in place that is not sound throughout. Inflation prevails on the backs of the disadvantaged, usually the existing community in a high-development area. Interest rate increases, climbing property taxes and rising utility costs are the most prevalent of the effects of inflation in real estate market.
- Increasingly intrusive and psychologically debilitating governmental dependency, presence and regulation. In other words, Uncle Sam has set up a lawn chair on your porch. He’s just waiting for the last nail in the coffin to arrive.
Above all, there’s power in knowledge, and with more knowledge and direction about inflation, supply and demand, interest rates, real estate tax law and governmental regulations, we have the creativity, intuitiveness and innovation that facilitates establishing an economic base in a community.
Some of the benefits of establishing an economic base in an under-served community are:
- Community Building
- Civic and Business Leadership Development
- Economic Autonomy and Stability
- Growth in Entrepreneurship