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Economic Development


The Cape Cod Commission Act envisioned a broad-based approach to economic development, one that recognizes the importance of Cape Cod's environment to its economy. The Commission is charged, under the Act, to "ensure balanced economic development" that will provide quality jobs today and preserve the natural resources, beauty, and heritage of Cape Cod for the next generation. The Regional Policy Plan (RPP) goals for economic development are based on four basic principles, as follows.

Economic Development PRINCIPLES:

  • Protect and Build on Your Competitive Advantage - For the Cape, this is the region's unique natural environment, historic village character, working agricultural land, harbors, and cultural heritage.
  • Use Your Resources Efficiently - Resources include natural assets, capital facilities, infrastructure, and human capital. Population and land use patterns affect efficiency.
  • Foster Balance and Diversity - Economic strength and sustainability benefit from a mixture of industries, businesses, workers, ownership types, and employment options.
  • Expand Opportunity and Regional Wealth - Methods include increasing exports, substituting imports locally, attracting capital, and fostering local ownership.

Economic Development GOALS:

  1. Low-impact and Compatible Development - To promote the design and location of development and redevelopment to preserve the Cape’s environment and cultural heritage, use infrastructure efficiently, minimize adverse impacts, and enhance the quality of life for Cape Codders.
  2. A Balanced Economy - To promote a balanced regional economy with a broad business, industry, employment, cultural, and demographic mix capable of supporting year-round and quality employment opportunities.
  3. Regional Income Growth - To promote economic activity that retains and attracts income to the region and benefits residents, thus increasing economic opportunity for all.
  4. Infrastructure Capacity - To provide adequate capital facilities and infrastructure that meet community and regional needs, expand community access to services, and improve the reliability and quality of services.

These principles and goals guide the planning actions and regulatory standards for economic development outlined in the RPP. They also guide the development of the Cape Cod Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

Where the RPP is the economic development policy document, the CEDS is the economic development implementation plan.

The Cape Cod Commission works cooperatively with area chambers of commerce and other agencies, including the  Barnstable County Economic Development Council (BCEDC), to foster the year-round economic health of the region.

Economic Development Announcements

CEDS 2017 Annual Report Available
The Cape Cod Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) annual report for Year 3 of the...



See also...

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)


Barnstable Area Regional Trends (BART)

Additional Data and Research


Economic Development Resource Guide

Economic Development Calendar


Economic Development Staff

Leslie Richardson
Chief Economic Development Officer


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