City taps into local investment to harness community development

05 May 2023

City of Newcastle (CN) hosted a series of workshops today that explored the benefits of investing locally to unlock business growth, local employment and economic development opportunities.

International economist Michael H. Shuman led the conversation by sharing his insights into local investment best practice adopted in the USA and Canada, which could potentially be rolled out in Newcastle and the Hunter region. The workshops were attended by Hunter economic development professionals and finance staff, local councils, leaders from major local employers, CN staff and Councillors.

As a leading visionary on community economics, Shuman is also an attorney, author and entrepreneur who assists local governments around the world with local investment tools and supported the development of City of Newcastle's Economic Development Strategy (EDS).

Newcastle Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said communities with higher levels of local ownership have more social equality, civic engagement, and higher economic resilience.

"A key component to our City's Economic Development Strategy advocates for a people-centred and place-led approach to economic development, to build resilient and regenerative communities. To achieve this, increasing levels of local investment is the next frontier for Newcastle and the region,” Cr Clausen said.

"Michael Shuman's work has been key in shaping our City's Economic Development Strategy and it's been wonderful to welcome him to Newcastle to delve into local investment opportunities together with our business community."

Shuman delivered three workshops in Newcastle titled 'Unlocking Local Capital: Lessons from the United States, Canada, and elsewhere on how Newcastle can tap local investment for economic development'.

“City of Newcastle has the opportunity to be a global leader in developing a compelling 21st century economic development vision and roadmap that puts people and planet first, unleashes creative entrepreneurship and becomes an enabler, facilitator and partner of social innovation and positive change,” Mr Shuman said.