The TJ has an interesting story this morning about the cost of hiring a consulting team to do some investment lead prospecting for Northern New Brunswick. I am quoted in the piece but what I find interesting is that this is a genuine story that pulls back the curtains and looks at one small part of what Business New Brunswick does.
I’d like to see more stories like this. That whole leads, investments projects, funding amouts, jobs created, etc. needs to be communicated to the public – for better or worse.
It’s actually quite hard to do ‘value for money’ calculations when it comes to government services. However, when it comes to economic development we must over time be able to show that new tax revenues to the government (net) are far greater than the money spent to generate them. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I have had many arguments long into the night with folks about this. Some argue we should shut it all down BNB ACOA, etc. just to see what would happen. They argue that after an initial adjustment, it would be better for New Brunswick.
I think the only way to counter this thinking is to tightly focus ED efforts on incremental economic activity and be clear about the results.