Home Local News Mayor Cooper’s economic, community development team kicks off ‘Prosper Nashville: Building an Economy for All’

Mayor Cooper’s economic, community development team kicks off ‘Prosper Nashville: Building an Economy for All’

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Mayor John Cooper

In 2022, Mayor John Cooper announced a plan to create an inclusive and equitable economic development strategy for Metro Nashville and Davidson County. The plan, called ‘Prosper Nashville: Building an Economy for All,’ will bring together Nashville stakeholders and community leaders to establish an action-oriented and forward-looking approach that is reflective of Nashville’s increasingly diversifying communities and helps build a resilient economy where all Nashville residents can participate and thrive.

Nashville is experiencing tremendous growth, with steady population increases and a job and talent market that is stronger than ever. But not everyone has been able to participate in and benefit from our booming economy. In Nashville and Davidson County, the top 20% of earners make over 16 times more than the bottom 20% of earners. This plan will address long-standing structural challenges facing the Metro Nashville economy, with the goal of promoting balanced and strategic growth and ensuring that all Nashvillians can prosper.

In order to incorporate diverse viewpoints from large and small businesses, neighborhoods, civic and nonprofit organizations, community groups, and residents, the mayor has selected more than 50 people for five Action Committees who will meet throughout the project. With feedback from these groups, as well as the general public, the plan will address a range of topics, including:

  • Developing strategies to invest in historically underserved neighborhoods and improve quality of life for residents;
  • Supporting programs and initiatives that continue to make Nashville an attractive destination for businesses and quality jobs;
  • Uplifting the needs of small businesses by improving access to capital and resources so they can continue to drive neighborhood economies;
  • Increasing access to high-paying, quality jobs by addressing the disconnect between job opportunities and the Nashville workforce;
  • Building a more supportive environment for government and non-government partners to work together on critical issues and access more funding opportunities.

“I have made it clear that economic development in Nashville can no longer just be about tax incentives for out-of-town corporations,” said Cooper. “We must redefine it and shift our thinking to how we’re creating opportunities for residents and providing resources to small and local businesses that create good-paying jobs across the city. Every Nashvillian, in every neighborhood, should have access to jobs and afford to live and raise a family here. It’s our job to help make that happen.”

“This plan brings all partners to the table, in hospitality, real estate, nonprofits, healthcare, educational institutions, and corporate businesses, large, small, and local—to strategically position us for Nashville’s best future. These partners know what Nashville has done well and will help us do even better for everyone,” said LaTanya Channel, Metro Nashville’s director of Economic Growth and Small Business Development.

The plan’s development will span the next six months, identifying core opportunities and challenges, building consensus, and creating a comprehensive, equity-focused economic development plan for the region. The goal is a plan grounded in actionable solutions that promote balanced and strategic growth and allows all Nashvillians to prosper.

The project team is led by HR&A Advisors, a national economic development firm working with clients to create more equitable, resilient, and dynamic communities. The team also includes Nashville-based Pillars Development, MEPR Agency, and Varallo Public Relations. Contact LaTanya Channel, Metro’s director of Economic Growth & Small Business Development with any questions about the development of the plan. More information about the plan can be found at <www.nashville.gov/departments/mayor/economic-opportunity/prosper-nashville>.

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