By Logan Langlois
NASHVILLE, TN — In 2022, Mayor John Cooper announced his upcoming Prosper Nashville: Building an Economy for All, a plan that has the goal of bringing together Nashvillian stakeholders and closing some of the wealth disparity which has grown more dramatic as the city itself has grown in size. This coming together will hopefully inspire an action-oriented and forward-moving community who are more reflective of Nashville’s increasingly diversifying communities and will help build an economy that is resilient and bountiful to all who make it up. The plan is in response to alarming statistics regarding the inclusivity currently unavailable to common citizens in enjoying the economic boom Nashville has been experiencing for a while now, the top 20 percent of earners make 16 times the amount as the bottom 20 percent.
In order to incorporate the diverse set of voices that the plan is designed for, Mayor Cooper has selected over 50 individuals to make up five different Action Committees that are tasked to meet throughout the entirety of the project. These Action Committees will be made up of all different kinds of voices and viewpoints including those of small and large businesses, neighborhoods, civic and nonprofit organizations, community groups, and Nashville residents. Guided by feedback both from the Action Committees and the general public, Mayor Cooper’s plan will address several topics that have been of great public and private concern for a long time.
“I have made it clear that Economic Development in Nashville can no longer just be about tax incentives for out-of-town corporations,” says Mayor Cooper. “We must redefine it and shift our thinking to how we’re creating opportunities for residents and providing resources to small and local businesses that create good-paying jobs across the city. Every Nashvillian, in every neighborhood, should have access to jobs and afford to live and raise a family here. It’s our job to help make that happen.”
The concerns addressed include developing strategies to invest in historically underserved neighborhoods, supporting programs that continue to make Nashville an attractive destination for jobs, and uplifting small businesses by improving access to capital and resources. The project will also attempt to address the disconnect between quality high paying jobs and the Nashville workforce. With the end of the project working towards building a more supportive environment between government and civilian collaboration on critical issues and funding opportunities.
“This plan brings all partners to the table … large, small, and local – to strategically position us for Nashville’s best future,” adds LaTanya Channel, Metro Nashville’s Director of Economic Growth and Small Business Development.
“These partners know what Nashville has done well and will help us do even better for everyone.”
The project’s collective team will be led by HR&A Advisors, a national economic development firm tasked with working with their clients in creating communities that are more equitable, resilient, and dynamic for those who live within them. The team charged with working on Prosper Nashville will also include the Nashville-based company Pillars Development, MEPR Agency, and Varallo Public Relations. If citizens have any questions regarding the plans, further details, or upcoming actions that will be taken in implementing Mayor Cooper’s initiative, they can contact LaTanya Channel.
To find more information regarding Prosper Nashville, citizens can also visit https://www.nashville.gov/departments/mayor/economic-opportunity/prosper-nashville.