In 2014, the Town of Halifax began work with the Old Colony Planning Council and the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University on completing the EDSAT, the Economic Development Self-Assessment Tool. The EDSAT helps cities and towns to analyze their capacity for economic development. Municipalities start by identifying and promoting their “deal makers” that foster economic growth and opportunity and surmounting the “deal breakers” within their control that have been working against their efforts.
EDSAT enhances the power of local officials to affect positive change in policies and procedures and to better enable these communities to compete for critically needed private sector investment – that is, EDSAT is one of the first steps mayors and boards of selectmen can take to becoming the “CEO of Economic Development” for their communities. In early June, a report of the results was released and on June 29, 2015, the Board of Selectmen hosted a presentation by Professor Barry Bluestone of the work that was done. This project was funded through a grant from the Massachusetts District Local Technical Assistance Program and completed with the assistance of the Old Colony Planning Council.
During the rest of 2015, the Board of Selectmen will work towards developing a list of steps that the Town can take, based on the report and presentation, that would improve the possibilities for economic development in Halifax.