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Latin American Economic Development Association, Inc. Supports Small Businesses in South Jersey

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Empowering People & Revitalizing the Community

Comprehensive Approach to Economic Development Strategy

The LAEDA Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (LCEDS) is a grassroots-based plan forged over LAEDA’s history. The LCEDS is a holistic approach to the development of an entrepreneurial business climate from the ground up rather than then from the top down. At the core of this plan of action, are three strategic thrusts: growing the marketplace, building the business and empowering the individual.  The ultimate goal of this strategy is to generate both economic and employment opportunities that will contribute to the resurgence of City of Camden’s economy. LAEDA believes dynamic economies within the city’s commercial districts can be created as a result of its LCEDS strategy, resulting in sustained economic and employment opportunities for Camden’s current and future residents.

Growing the Marketplace

Location! Location! Location! The success of any business hinges on the marketplace in which it is located. LAEDA has identified Camden’s neighborhood commercial districts as the preeminent opportunity for growth in small business in the City of Camden. Preparing stakeholders for this opportunity and addressing the obstacles that exist are crucial to the success of Camden’s commercial district marketplaces. LAEDA’s focus has been to identify key factors that have hampered the resurgence of these districts, addressed these factors and created a fertile environment for investment. 

Building the Business

When Businesses are Successful…Jobs are Created and Communities Grow. The Small Business Administration has identified lack of knowledge and lack of money as obstacles to business success.  Building the capacity of the business community is a key strategy of LAEDA’s. Helping businesses convert their interest in locating and operating in Camden, into direct investment is the focus of our business development effort.

Empowering Individuals

You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or you can teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” It takes a unique individual to start a new business.  Recognizing the balancing act that aspiring entrepreneurs must perform, it is essential to not only prepare individuals for business ownership, but to equip them with the tools needed to manage the demands of everyday life. Empowerment is a core principle of LAEDA. Whether we are empowering merchants to lead the rebirth of their commercial district or a single mother pursuing a dream to own her own business, empowerment is the combining thread that guides our efforts.

Completing the Cycle – A Comprehensive Approach to Economic Development

A healthy and growing marketplace is marked by three key components; dynamic economic conditions, the conduct of commerce by relevant and strong businesses and the infrastructure needed to facilitate and sustain commerce. Efforts to impact these components traditionally are approached via separate and disconnected efforts, anchor or cluster marketing, chambers of commerce and large shopping center developers. The typical outcome of these efforts is the development of a large=scale commercial shopping center located at the intersection of large population centers. What is the strategy for an urban based marketplace?

LAEDA’s strategy is a grassroots effort that coordinates the convergence of marketing, business development and real estate development efforts to stimulate the economic growth of Camden’s commercial districts. 

LAEDA’s history of economic development in the City of Camden has touched on each of these efforts over the past 30 years. LAEDA completes the cycle of economic development by aligning its various efforts into one comprehensive approach to be focused on one commercial district. This strategy analyzes the marketplace on three levels; market dynamics – SWOT analysis, business capacity & composition and physical capacity; real estate inventory, parking and environment.

Concepts for Growing the Marketplace are based on this analysis and strategies are devised through engagement with merchants and stakeholders through the Commercial District Revitalization Initiative (CDRI). Implementation and services are coordinated through CDRI in alignment with approved projects with the support of stakeholder leadership.  

The work of Building the Businesses in the marketplace begins with LAEDA Business Services Center (LBSC)LBSC works with merchants to build their capacity toward approved plan. LBSC through the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) Empowers Individuals to create new businesses and recruit new merchants to fulfill the diverse business mix needed within the market and revitalizing the district. 

Growing the Marketplace comes full circle with the Neighborhood Commercial Expansion Initiative (NCEI)NCEI responds by identifying development opportunities needed to enhance the market’s physical capacity to accommodate approved strategies; ie. parking lots, streetscape improvements, commercial building redevelopment and facade improvement.

LAEDA believes dynamic economies within the city’s commercial districts can be created as a result of its LCEDS strategy, resulting in sustained economic and employment opportunities for Camden’s current and future residents.

To learn more about the programs that make up LAEDA Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy follow the links above.  Full program descriptions can be found from the Programs and Initiatives menu.