Crowdfunding has been used to finance a vast assortment of projects in the last few years, but federal regulators have been slow to implement the sections of the JOBS act that allow most individuals to invest in startups financed by equity crowdfunding. In response, states have passed laws allowing companies to create crowdfunding platforms that cater to investors and entrepreneurs within the same state.

The crowdfunding industry in the United States has expanded rapidly in the last few years, growing from $2.7 billion in 2012 to an estimated $34.4 billion in 2015.  This growth has been driven by the expansion of online crowdfunding platforms that facilitate interaction between companies and potential investors.  Although the US JOBS act sought to regulate crowdfunding in 2012,...

CSG Midwest
With $84 million set aside in the new state biennial budget as incentive, Indiana is challenging its cities to work more closely together on projects that make their part of the state a more attractive place to live and work. In emphasizing collaboration over competition, the Regional Cities Initiative marks a new approach to economic development in Indiana. But as Rep. Ed Clere notes, it seeks to address an old problem. “The biggest economic issue we’re trying to address is attracting talent by improving quality of place,” he says. “Population stagnation has been identified as a significant threat to Indiana’s economic growth.”

Rural communities in the South continue to face serious challenges in getting highly educated students to return home after college graduation. Research indicates that education may be a cause and effect for this rural “brain drain” phenomenon, and also the key to reversing the trend. Studies have shown that efforts to improve rural education contribute to rapid economic development in those areas, while a more educated community can serve as a catalyst for business expansion and increased civic engagement. This complimentary webinar, presented by CSG South/SLC, highlights the impact of education on rural development and examines initiatives in rural communities to entice educated former residents to return and invest in their hometowns.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “the reports of Rural America’s death are greatly exaggerated.” In fact, at least four major trends are helping improve the future of rural America: broadband, telemedicine, job training and new methods to attract young people to farming all offer hope.

Access to export capital continues to be one of the largest barriers for American small business exporters. While the federal government does have successful programs for helping small businesses find the financing necessary to become exporters, another potential Congressional roadblock is showing the importance of state programs to keep goods moving. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, also known as the EX-IM Bank, is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The bank’s mission is to support American jobs by facilitating exports of domestic goods and services through direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital and export credit insurance

U.S. farms exported $144.4 billion worth of agricultural products in 2013, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. California exported the most of any state – $20.1 billion – followed by Iowa ($10.4 billion) and Illinois ($8.0 billion). The biggest U.S. agricultural export in 2013 was soybeans, worth nearly $22 billion. Just three states – Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota – made up over one-third of the soybean export market, with Illinois alone exporting almost $3.1 billion of crop. The American Farm Bureau Federation says one in three U.S. farm acres is planted for export.  

Most state leaders have had to make decisions about how to invest scarce resources to create a better economy with little data to back them up. That’s just changed with a new report produced by Elsevier and The Council of State Governments. “America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by State Review” gives policymakers an overview of the American research landscape, including analysis of individual state research strengths and how those can contribute to economic growth. “Elsevier’s partnership with The Council of State Governments provides, for the first time, an overview of every state’s comparative knowledge economy advantages,” said Brad Fenwick, senior vice president for global strategic alliances at Elsevier. He was one of the featured speakers at a recent CSG eCademy webcast highlighting how states can use the new report.

Econ Piggy

The Pew Charitable Trusts has released an informative short video that evaluates what makes economic development policies - particularly those related to business incentives like tax credits and grants - successful. According to the video, states have dramatically increased spending on incentives and each year states spend billions of dollars on these programs. The video then asks a critical quesion:"Are they worth the price?". Check out the video below to learn what questions your state leaders should be asking when evaluating incentive programs.

The United States’ long-term economic growth will be determined by its ability to encourage the research and development that fosters innovation. In this FREE eCademy webcast, The Council of State Governments and Elsevier, a world-leading provider of information solutions, discuss their newly released report, America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review, which analyzes the research strengths of the United States and demonstrates ways states can capitalize on their comparative advantages in research to foster innovation and economic growth.

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