Many big companies and big organizations understand the need to look at the risk in their supply chains. They research, identify, plan for, and act against risks up and down their supply chain. They make sure their materials, their products, or whatever they need to move will continue to move, all so they can satisfy their market.
So why don’t small cities do the same thing? In this case, the supply chain is the tax dollars or revenue entering the area. Their market is their constituents. Their product is their services.
Do cities look at the risks to their ‘raw materials’- their tax revenue? Do they truly understand the relation between these materials and their market? Do they work collaboratively with their biggest suppliers- their business tax base- to ensure the flow of raw materials runs without a hitch? Do they take measures to make the transactions smoother and insulate the flow of materials despite the surrounding environment?
Often, when suppliers, customers, and markets work collaboratively to combat risk, all sorts of creative win-win solutions emerge, and everyone, together, enlarges the pie. Perhaps its time for small cities- especially those that are still struggling across rural America- to take up the mantle where places like New York City fail.
Looking at tax revenues as the raw material to all the services a city provides is vital to create truly sustainable small economies. It’s past time for many rural localities to work with their business communities to protect their supply of revenue, to create win-win solutions, and to insulate their locales against economic threats.
The best way to do this? Clear, honest, and open communication. Meaningful engagement. Effort. These are the way forward, and the best way to see and prepare for economic risk.