Episode 110

Counting What Counts: A Data-Backed Path to Community Revival with Jon Maynard


September 25th, 2023

30 mins 30 secs

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About this Episode

Jon Maynard has worked in economic development for over 15 years. In that time, he's come to believe that the traditional model of recruiting big employers doesn't work well for most small towns. Instead, he advocates for what he calls "tropical fish" economic development - building a vibrant community "reef" that will naturally attract residents, entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The foundation of Maynard's approach is caring deeply about the town and its people. A declining "give a damn factor," seen in things like crumbling infrastructure, leads to a downward spiral. The data tells the story - population loss, falling labor force, decreasing retail sales all stem from neglecting quality of place and opportunity. Maynard helps towns turn the tide by focusing economic development inward. This means supporting local entrepreneurs, partnering with schools, and collaborating with arts groups.

Ultimately, Maynard wants to spread the word that people-centered development is possible everywhere. He launched a consulting firm, Infinite Sequence Economics, to provide affordable expertise to communities trying to take a new path. His goal is to share ideas, find gaps, and hold towns accountable for real change.

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