Economic Development Advisory Services

EY provides industry-leading services to economic development organizations, including strategic planning, competitive assessments, benchmarking, global market insights and innovative custom approaches targeted at helping the organization create, refine and deploy an economic development strategy to achieve its goals.

What EY can do for you

Economic development organizations are under increasing pressure. There are internal demands to do more with fewer resources, while constituents want to see concrete evidence that the programs designed to attract business activity and bolster local businesses and workforce are successful. The first step toward achieving measurable results is having a data-driven strategy that aligns economic development and community development activities with a clear vision and goals.

Professionals with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) provide industry-leading services to economic development organizations, chambers and governments, including strategic plans, competitive assessments, benchmarking, global market insights, strategy implementation support, organizational plans and funding, workforce studies, and custom-designed research.

Through our years of experience, we understand that modern economic development strategies must be holistic and inclusive of the entire community for a place to reach its full potential in attracting new business and supporting local businesses as they grow and prosper.

Economic development strategy

EY facilitates comprehensive economic development plans for communities seeking healthier economies and greater opportunities for their residents. Our planning processes include stakeholder engagement, competitive assessments, benchmarking, target audience identification, tactical action plans and metrics for monitoring progress.

Our services: from strategy through execution

Holistic approach

All our services are custom-designed to be collaborative, inclusive and transparent. The EY holistic process engages stakeholders, evaluates key data points and economic trends, and provides global market insights to create a leading approach for each client. By working closely with community members and the economic development organization, from planning through strategy deployment and implementation, EY helps drive buy-in and positions the final product for full adoption and a greater return on investment.

Our national network of professionals has experience in both the public and private sector, enabling EY to deliver a comprehensive economic development strategy, implementation road map and ongoing support to economic development organizations.

Our services include:

Competitive assessments and benchmarking

EY evaluates a community’s economic and demographic position across dozens of metrics to identify key strengths and weaknesses that will be an integral part of the strategic planning process. Our analysis also benchmarks these metrics against peer communities, state and US averages to help client communities better understand their position in the current market.

Incentives analysis and planning

Incentives often play a crucial role in the attraction and retention of businesses at the state and local level. Relying on our breadth of experience in the credits and incentives space, EY works with our clients to evaluate the community’s current incentives portfolio for multiple sectors and determine how these incentives compare to those offered by peer communities. EY also assists clients with analyzing potential changes to their current incentives, identifying opportunities for cost reduction and the estimated value of incentives packages for various projects.

Objectives and strategy

Leveraging insights from competitive assessments, benchmarking and stakeholder meetings, EY works with clients to determine key objectives for the new strategy. As part of this process, we facilitate discussions with stakeholders to develop a collaborative comprehensive economic development strategy to achieve these goals.

Targeted action plan

We understand that creating a comprehensive new strategy is only one piece of the puzzle. Creating an action plan to guide the implementation of the strategy is vital to its success. To help facilitate this process, EY works closely with clients and community stakeholders to create a targeted action plan that will help to drive the successful implementation of the new strategy and achieve the client’s objectives.

Economic development funding and compliance

Accessing funds to support the implementation of your economic development strategy is often critical to achieve a successful deployment. EY assists clients with identifying and obtaining funding to support your organization’s day-to-day activity; offset some of the public costs associated with a new project; or establish a specially designated area to leverage tax increment financing, Community Reinvestment Act funding or one of the many other available funding sources.

Execution and deployment

Assisting clients with deploying and executing on the new strategy is a key part of the EY holistic approach. We help our clients establish comprehensive execution plans, identify and work with stakeholders who will take ownership of certain elements of the strategy deployment, and create metrics to measure the success of the strategy.

Accountability and predictability

EY continues to assist clients after the strategy has been deployed to measure its success on newly created programs. This important step allows our clients to better prepare for future opportunities and modify the strategy to account for changes in the market.

In addition to the strategy services outlined above, EY offers additional services to help communities build on and drive the success of their existing strategies. These services include:

Organizational plans

Having a strong structure for economic development is essential to achieving results. EY works with communities to evaluate their current models for economic development and offers recommendations for improving efficiencies and effectiveness. Our focus ranges from setting up volunteer platforms for strategy execution to restructuring economic development organizations.

Workforce studies

EY recognizes the intimate relationship between the quality of a region’s talent pool and its success in economic development. Our labor shed analyses and talent alignment plans provide clients with a deep understanding of their workforce dynamics and action plans for creating a pipeline of talent to fuel economic growth. Through our research, we help employers and educators make decisions together on a shared platform of data. We provide communities with tactical approaches to addressing workforce needs and the trust to do so in a collaborative way.

Custom-designed research and other services

EY has a full spectrum of analytics, government, talent, higher education and public-policy-related advisory services that allow us to custom-design approaches to your community’s specific needs.

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