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Community Development in the Southeast: Regional Economic Indicators

Carolina Small Business Development Fund Research Report


Community development is inherently place-based: the geographic contours of a locale have a strong effect on the socioeconomic destiny of its residents. Economic growth is not equal across all communities. Many lower-income and minority communities never fully recovered from the Great Recession. And now many of the same places face similar challenges in the wake of COVID-19. We assess several data indicators related to sustainable development, socioeconomic mobility, health outcomes, and racial disparities in the Southeast. Though the region saw much growth over the past decade, the data show a mixed picture of progress.


In an era of increasing regional disparity, there is a need for innovative and out-of-the box policies to help solve enduring and structural barriers to core elements of the economic development process. In particular, the data suggest a need for nurturing small business and entrepreneurship networks across under-served communities.


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McCall, Jamie. 2020. “Community Development in the Southeast: Regional Economic Indicators.” Carolina Small Business Development Fund. Raleigh, NC.

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