Quality of life in cities and towns depends on local business development – such was the focal theme selected for the 21st Local Development Forum online seminar held on 8 July.

The seminar “Importance of Local Economy to Urban Development” explored the subject of entrepreneurship and the condition of local economies – as experts ever more frequently claim that the quality of life for urban populations ties in closely with the quality of local entrepreneurship. Intending to showcase the interdependence, the Association of Polish Cities joined forces with the Family Business Initiative Association to organise an all-Polish information campaign #MiastazPrzedsiębiorcami (Cities with Businesses) spanning several weeks. The endeavour was joined by as many as 106 Association of Polish Cities member cities and towns. Information posters on social and traditional media, advertising in public transport vehicles and at railway and bus stations, plein air exhibitions, businesses meeting local authorities at bespoke gatherings, competitions for children, themed lectures – these are but a few of activities undertaken under the shared “Act Loyal: Buy Local” campaign and slogan.

“The campaign drew local governments’ attention to businesses,” said President of the Family Business Initiative Association Ewa Sobkiewicz when speaking at the seminar. “Polish entrepreneurs are changing, quite a few operating exactly like huge multinationals. They support assorted public activities, getting involved in urban and local community work – they have evolved beyond creating jobs and paying taxes.”

Data presented as part of the information campaign have been sourced in the Association of Polish Cities’ Local Development Monitor – a comprehensive analysis of cities, towns, municipalities and urban functional areas, introduced to cities and towns during a recent seminar. The Local Development Monitor contains statistics formerly inaccessible to municipalities, including data from POLTAX, Social Security Authority and Agricultural Social Insurance Fund systems.

The new portal “Local Development Monitor – Entrepreneurship” was unveiled during the session. This is the fourth Local Development Monitor tool module experts and analysts of the Association of Polish Cities have been working on over past months. The tool is a source of comprehensive information on the social, economic and environmental condition of every municipality, city, town and functional area in Poland, basing on data publicly available and collected at a single location.

“Local Development Monitor – Entrepreneurship” is a piece of software allowing in-depth analyses of the social-and-economic potential of any given municipality. It supports data analysis for selected municipalities as well as for pre-specified reference groups. Consequently, it supplements the Local Development Monitor and is also an essential source of knowledge on quantitative aspects of social-and-economic phenomena indispensable to any in-depth diagnosis of a municipality’s condition, not to mention the effort to identify of its strong and weak sides / opportunities and threats.

Information sources for the portal are based on data collections and sets made available by public institutions, including i.a. the Central Statistical Office and Ministry of Finance (RB financial statement forms). This in-depth scrutiny tool comprises a total of 780 indicators grouped in 12 areas, allowing in-depth analyses of local residents’ economic activity, education quality, demographic processes, labour markets, and migration structures. Aforesaid data describes all Local Government Units.

The tool can be useful i.a. in the process of drafting Municipal Condition Reports, and/or verifying multiannual financial forecasts.

In showcasing the portal “Local Development Monitor – Entrepreneurship”, Association of Polish Cities experts presented the condition and competitiveness of local economy with Krotoszyn as their case study – a medium-sized Polish town identified as one of 255 on the Polish Academy of Sciences’ list of urban centres with greatest social-and-economic difficulties across the country. In addition, experts analysed other aspects of the town’s operations, such as its economic potential; economic activeness by local residents’ age, income level and sources of income; and the impact of social-and-economic changes on local labour markets and local finance.