Economic development agencies are responsible for economic growth, business development, and industry expansion. State and city economic development agencies, departments, corporations, and partnerships work independently on behalf of the government and across sectors in public-private partnerships to leverage companies, offer financial support, and provide technical and grant assistance, as well as promote innovation and competitiveness. Economic development agencies promote economic programs and multi-agency initiatives coordinated at the federal level by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Small Business Administration (SBA).
By utilizing resources from the government and private financial industry, economic development agencies assist in the strengthening the advancement of regions suffering from economic distress. The local economic development office, as an expert representative on local business opportunities, provides a strategy for linking capital with the job force. In this way, economic development agencies take a proactive role in creating new jobs and help with retaining existing jobs.
Although most government economic development agencies have different names at the state or local levels, they are responsible for a similar scope of work. Main types of economic development agencies are those of local governments, regional planning organizations and state economic development departments. Unlike public economic development agencies, known as departments, corporations, offices or partnerships across the United States, there are also private economic development institutions, companies, firms, agencies, think tanks and consultants, each delivering growth strategies helping to promote economic opportunity.