Economic development enriches our community

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Occasionally, people ask me what the Richardson Economic Development Partnership (REDP) is, and exactly what it does. It’s important to understand that the REDP’s strategic economic development efforts make a huge difference to every Richardson citizen.
Simply put, the REDP is a long-standing collaboration between the City and the Richardson Chamber, through which we jointly focus on attracting and retaining corporate investments and jobs, retail and our workforce.
Why that matters so much is because the vitality of our neighborhoods is deeply intertwined with our thriving corporate community.
Building on a legacy dating back to the 1950s, Richardson’s Telecom Corridor® brand still resonates worldwide today, which is why we continue to attract major operations of many top, tech-focused companies. Through the REDP’s purposeful efforts, we’ve also lured leading financial services firms and other business innovators, including most recently firms such as State Farm, Raytheon, RealPage and Aprima Medical Software, plus numerous datacenters to support their vital information flow.
Altogether, this robust corporate community contributes nearly 60 percent annually to the City’s annual tax revenues, versus about 40 percent from residents. That’s an impressive figure, and significantly higher than the norm in most other communities.
What this means for residents is a relatively lighter tax burden, and superior services that the City can deliver for the entire community’s benefit. So, when you see Richardson police or fire personnel saving lives, or Richardson’s splendid parks and trails being built and maintained, a chunk of credit is due to our thriving business sector.
Beyond these corporate taxes, whenever a new company comes to Richardson, it adds vibrancy to the surrounding area, attracting even more retail and restaurants to serve our day-time and night-time population. Plus, Richardson’s corporate employees eat and shop here during the day, contributing significantly to municipal sales tax revenues, too.
In this sense, economic development is a win-win-win that just keeps on giving, making our world-class community even stronger. And that’s why the REDP’s work is so important.
Bryan Marsh is the vice president for global asset management with Digital Realty and also serves as vice chair of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce’s economic division. “From the Boardroom” is a recurring guest column featuring viewpoints from Richardson business and civic leaders, produced in cooperation with the Chamber.
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