Economic development and public finance decisions, especially in rural areas with fewer committed resources, may be based on assumptions, fears, and antiquated information. Extension's applied economics research explains local economies and their dynamics so that community leaders act on solid information as they invest critical resources. In Minnesota, 12 community and industry groups who received extension research actively used this research to inform community or economic development decisions. For example, a retail trade study was used to attract businesses to a retail space. One community increased broadband access. Businesses redesigned business plans. Three communities adopted local option sales tax.
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