11 - How strong is the local economy?
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What success would mean
A strong local economy is an important contributor to quality of life through job creation, and the income it provides individuals and its contribution to local public services. Local businesses can improve the resilience of the communities to issues such as food shortages.
Strong local economies require, for example:
- High quality infrastructure including office space and transport links
- A healthy workforce with skills that meet employers’ needs
- Streamlined inspection and regulation regimes.
A strong local economy if good for...
- A well-kept, environmentally sustainable area - a highly transient workforce is likely to have less regard for their environment than a permanent one, contributing to a lower neighbourhood quality. Compounding this effect, increased employment stability encourages more environmentally friendly behaviour by allowing for more long-sighted decision-making.1
- More responsible, strong and cohesive communities - social cohesion is highly correlated with material deprivation.2
- Healthy, well supported people - the occupational status profile of a community can impact on the facilities in that community. Broadly speaking, the higher the occupational status of members of the community and more affluent the area, the greater the economic support for community facilities.3
- Safety - employment opportunities improve neighbourhood factors of crime and quality of environs, particularly where the neighbourhood is affected by anti-social behaviour and has a high percentage of young people in its population profile.4
Examples of Relevant National Indicators:
BAA Meet the Buyer Events
What is it?
- At the annual Heathrow Meet the Buyers event, Small to Medium sized businesses (SMEs) based in the area can market their products and services direct to procurement professionals.
How does it work?
- Promotion - prior to the main event, a series of local events are held to explain: how BAA’s supply chain works, the standards that suppliers need to meet, the major areas of opportunity and what support is available locally to help SMEs become fit to supply.
- In 2005, a total of 639 business people from 444 companies took part in the Heathrow Meet the Buyers programme.
What are the main impacts?
- Stronger local economy – local suppliers create prosperity and employment in the communities surrounding the airport. Since its inception, the event has generated an estimated £75 million in new contracts.
- Environmental sustainability – local suppliers can offer a more environmentally sustainable option than more report suppliers by, for example, reducing transport mileage.
- Tackling inequality – the proportion of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic-owned SMEs attending the Meet the Buyer event has risen to over 25% as a result of targeted local ethnic marketing.
For more information, contact:
T: 020 7700 0008
1. London Health Commission, 2006. Sustainable Local Economies for Health project (SLEHP)
2. Wolf, K.L., 1998. Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants (1) Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington, College of Forest Resources, USA
3. As 1
4. Greater London Authority, 2003. Valuing Greenness: Green Spaces, House Prices & Londoner's Priorities. GLA