Helping Communities Identify Gaps and Address Needs
Is your community positioned for growth, or falling short?
We help regions articulate opportunities and align resources. We work with economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, philanthropy, higher-education, and industry to advance economic development strategies and make focused investments that address limitations that may limit a region’s potential for growth.
Economic Vision and Action Plans
Industry and Market Trend Forecasting
Program Design and Evaluation
In 2023, the York County Economic Alliance (YCEA) initiated a countywide housing study to assess the current housing conditions and needs throughout York County, as well as better understand supply, current, and future demand across the spectrum of housing within the county. The study was published in July 2023, following a live webinar during which YCEA, its partners, and Fourth Economy communicated the results to the general public. The study outlines several housing considerations based on observations of gaps, stressors, and community desires for housing in the county. The intention is that the analysis provided by the study will provide county stakeholders with the basis to begin developing solutions and an action plan as part of a future planning effort. Read More
Economic Resilience Strategy
MACOG is the regional planning organization for all of the communities inside Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, and St. Joseph Counties in Indiana. As the designated EDA Economic Development District for the region, MACOG is uniquely positioned to help guide and support local municipalities as they plan for future economic resilience in the face of macro challenges and local opportunities. Fourth Economy reviewed and analyzed several recent community planning studies, conducted interviews with key stakeholders, and analyzed regional historical economic data and projections, in order to understand the current state of the region, existing visioning and opportunities that exist, and ongoing goals that communities are actively pursuing. Read More
Economic Development Strategy
Greater Newport is comprised of nine communities within Newport County, as well as neighboring Bristol County. However, despite their close proximity and interdependent economies, these communities have not had a history of collaboration. In 2018, the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce retained Fourth Economy Consulting to create and manage the implementation of a five-year strategic plan for the growth of the regional economy. We began the process with a traditional business calling program as our highest priority; through that and our other work in the region, workforce housing emerged as a key barrier to their economic success. Addressing this spurred the creation of new partnerships and creative strategies, including a regional housing symposium. Broadband access and housing affordability are also issues that we are working to address in the region. Read More
Networks Northwest is the economic development organization serving the 10-county region of Northwest Lower Michigan. In 2019, Networks Northwest first partnered with Fourth Economy to map the economic development ecosystem in northwest Michigan. Working throughout the 10-county region, Networks Northwest saw how a network of public, private, and non-profit organizations stitched together a robust array of programs and services to support economic development. Since then, Fourth Economy has worked with Networks Northwest to develop an Analysis of COVID-19 Impacts in Northwest Michigan and Recovery Roadmap (2020); the creation of Thrive North, a promotional commercial corridor and investment opportunities website (2021); the “Activate i4.0” Industry 4.0 Consortium and application to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) (2021); and most recently, an EDA Good Jobs Challenge Grant Application (2022). Read More
Get in Touch
Many of our most interesting projects stem from conversations with communities about where they are and where they want to be. Our specialty is in developing strategies that help communities achieve their goals. If you’d like to delve deeper, reach out! We'd love to connect with you.