What Strategies is Kansas City Using to Promote Economic Growth?

The Council Goal for Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development is: To develop a vital economy where there is opportunity for growth, particularly in historically underdeveloped areas; citizens have opportunities for creating wealth and prosperity; and visitors consider Kansas City a desirable destination.

Below are the objectives from the current Citywide Business Plan that outline the specific strategies that the City is pursuing that relate to promoting economic growth. These objectives provide insight into the departments that are involved and the actions that are being taken.

How Can We Measure Progress on Economic Growth?

Measuring economic growth can be challenging, since much of the data on true outcomes (i.e. jobs, incomes, tax revenues) is only available on a delayed basis. Since a variety of factors affect economic growth, including city policies and programs as well as external environmental factors, it can be difficult to isolate meaningful incremental metrics for growth. As discussed above, high level metrics such as the number of jobs, unemployment rate, and wage growth are useful in assessing the direction of growth. The City also utilizes the annual business survey, a statistically significant survey conducted by an outside agency to measure the business community's satisfaction with Kansas City's business environment, to assess areas where improvement is needed. Data from the city's external partners (i.e. EDC) and internal departments (i.e. BizCare) gives an indication of the outputs of these agencies in their efforts to promote business development.

Business Satisfaction with Kansas City as a Place to Do Business

In 2015, 95% of business rated Kansas City as a Good, Excellent, or Average place to do business. A large majority (70%) of the business community believe that Kansas City is a better than average place to conduct business. Conversely, only 5% said Kansas City was a poor or below average place to do business. This means that there is still room for improvement, but it emphasizes that there is a high proportion of businesses who rate Kansas City as having a healthy business climate.


The City of Kansas City, Missouri’s AdvanceKC initiative was launched in the fall of 2011 to determine how Kansas City, Missouri can effectively use its competitive assets to grow its economy to the fullest potential. Over the course of 18 months, City and community leaders worked with a consulting team to exhaustively analyze the City�’s competitive advantages, role, purpose, structure, future, and how a stronger Kansas City can benefit the region as a whole.
Competitive Categories include:
  1. Arts and Leisure
  2. Business Climate
  3. Connectivity and Collaboration
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  6. Mobility
  7. Public Safety
  8. Talent Development and Education
  9. Target Sector Support
  10. Urban Land Use and Revitalization

Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDCKC) Efforts

The EDC is a major partner in the AdvanceKC Plan, as they link the City to business and the economic development community. The EDC is an external agency that works with its six statutory redevelopment agencies to support business expansion and development through economic incentives and other resources. The City contracts with the EDC to perform these economic development services, including site/building searches and selection assistance, incentive programs, and development applications.

For more information on the EDC and the resources that it provides to businesses, visit: http://edckc.com.

New and Retained Jobs From Economic Development Efforts

A basic indicator of Kansas City's economic development efforts is the number of new and retained jobs that result from the EDC's business development efforts. The large increase in FY2014 is due to the announcement of the Cerner expansion. (updated annually)

New Real and Personal Property Investment

Another measurement of the EDC's economic development efforts is the amount of real property investment (in buildings and land) and personal property investment (equipment and vehicles) that is a result of business development efforts. (updated annually)

KCStat Schedule

All Council priorities, including those in the area of Economic Development, are discussed at KCStat Meetings, which are public meetings held at City Hall and moderated by the Mayor and City Manager. Anyone from the public may attend, or follow the discussion via Twitter (#kcstat). Videos of KCStat meetings and meeting documents are archived online and can be accessed at kcmo.gov/kcstat. A list of past and future KCStat meetings for Economic Development is below.