Economic Development Week is upon us! Each May the Ames Economic Development Commission (AEDC) celebrates Economic Development Week, celebrating the power of partnerships and highlighting the importance of a coordinated economic development effort in our communities.
This year, it feels like we have more than ever to celebrate. Not only are we coming out of a pandemic, but we are coming out of a pandemic stronger and more focused on growth and quality of life in our communities. The AEDC continues to serve every community in Story County and launched a new partnership with the City of Boone at the beginning of the year. It is these partnerships that drive innovative, successful economic development in our region and together we are working to create a brighter future for all.
Our 2021 theme, #ThisIsEconDev, was chosen because it enables us to highlight economic development on grand and small scales. From May 10 – 14, the AEDC will be featuring ongoing projects and partnerships with our neighboring communities throughout Story County and the City of Boone. A project that has been completed in collaboration with the Business Engagement Collaborative class at Ames High School, we are excited to showcase the economic growth we are seeing in our region.
Oftentimes, when people hear the term, ‘economic development,’ they think of new companies coming to town or large local companies beginning expansion projects, both of which are significant aspects of growth. What they might not think of is reinvesting in existing districts through beautification projects, revitalizing and repurposing historic buildings and as a result, providing new ways for residents and visitors to spend money locally.
Bringing new art, destinations and experiences to our communities drives tremendous economic development, especially for our small businesses. People might come downtown to take a photo with a mural only to find their new favorite coffee shop. Others might set out to run a quick errand at their local go-to store and discover the new shop that went in next door. A hidden gem like a mega cinnamon roll might go viral and bring in folks from all over. It is the way these projects work in tandem with larger scale expansion and job creation projects that keep our communities vibrant and attractive.
The AEDC team will continue to work for our communities, finding the next great job-creator, attracting the next big business, supporting the up-and-coming startups, and advocating for the next quality of life amenity. The work we are doing now is setting us up for a sustainable, promising and brighter future for all.