Believe it or not, businesses aren’t the only ones driven by competition. Local governments need to compete too. Local governments compete with other localities to attract new businesses and entice residents to move into town. Neighboring localities have always competed on some level, but the competition has recently become more intense.
With the rise of WFH, people can work from anywhere. Businesses are looking for cost-efficient places to shop. Local governments need help to compete on amenities. Other factors like policy choices, tax rebates, and modernized services entice businesses and residents to move.
Migration patterns have shifted significantly since 2020. New Census data shows that large cities experienced steep population declines two years after the pandemic hit. Most of these people are settling in smaller cities, small towns, or suburbs to escape the high cost of living and find a better quality of life.
As people leave large metros rapidly, smaller cities and suburbs must grab the attention of demanding residents. Population growth is a hallmark of a healthy community. Local governments must eliminate competition from neighboring towns to encourage population growth. Here are some efficiencies
Automate and streamline licensing and permitting- There’s no reason agencies should depend on old, black-box technology. Leveraging Laserfiche Workflow in tandem with Velosimo low-code integrations with Accela, PayPal, and DocuSign modernizes your permitting and licensing while easing manual steps and long wait times for staff, contractors, business owners, and residents.
Upgrade tech infrastructure that supports public amenities such as parks- Renting facilities can also be automated by applying business processes and integration. At a minimum, you can cut down staff time and time-to-completion.
Consider the UX of your municipal website- We learned during the pandemic that websites can serve as counter service with the benefit of being available 24/7/365. A website is a resident's first impression of their new government. Making it easy for people to find services, request records and pay online government fees and fine payments helps new residents feel supported. Recently, we conducted a webinar regarding this process. Please check it out.
Prioritize disaster recovery and cyber security- We’ve noticed a trend in municipalities deploying trusted systems. A trusted system is a combination of techniques, policies, and procedures for which there is no plausible scenario in which a document retrieved from or reproduced by the system could differ substantially from the document that is stored initially.” (Source: California Government Code 12168.7(c)) Trusted systems can also be restored quickly after a disaster or a hack. Here’s a video explaining trusted systems.
As inflation increases and remote work becomes more commonplace, people and businesses are no longer confined to major cities for economic opportunity. As a result, local governments must consider opportunities to drive population and economic growth in their community. Upgrading your tech infrastructure is a big step in that direction.