Each May the Ames Economic Development Commission (AEDC) celebrates Economic Development Week as we recognize the power of partnerships and the impact of coordinated economic development efforts in our communities.
Throughout the last two years, our organization has grown significantly. We have expanded our economic development services beyond Story County, partnering with the City of Boone, the City of Ogden, and the Boone County Economic Development Growth Corporation. In fact, these contracts have enabled our team to more effectively serve the entire Ames Metropolitan Statistical Area, or the Ames MSA.
A Metropolitan Statistical Area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density and close economic ties. The Ames MSA is made up of both Boone and Story Counties and includes over 20 communities. The MSA designation is critical to our region for a multitude of reasons. When it comes to economic development projects, consultants and site selectors often look to MSA communities first as an MSA designation offers a high level of credibility as well as easy access to the demographic and economic information they need when looking for a new location for a company. Metropolitan Statistical Area communities also benefit direct federal entitlement payments, recognition in distinguished “Best Of” lists and ultimately face less competition for federal dollars and grants.
A unified approach to economic development just makes sense. By working together, we are able to create a common vision, develop long-term strategies and provide resources across the Ames MSA. We are incredibly fortunate to have strong inter-community relationships that allow us to create innovative solutions as we work to attract and retain talent and industry, promote the importance of supporting local, create jobs and growth opportunities, and so many other projects that benefit the greater good.
Economic development is impacted by seemingly mundane projects like municipal infrastructure improvements all the way to larger-than-life projects like The Linc project coming to Lincoln Way. No one wants to live in a community with pothole-ridden roads but that road construction that drives us all crazy from March to October makes our community more appealing for current and potential residents. Investments in local art and quality-of-life amenities like the Nevada Fieldhouse or Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center build upon that appeal. Offering a thriving entrepreneurial environment helps local businesses owners get off the ground or enable a local Farmers’ Market vendor to move into a brick-and-mortar location. It is this myriad of projects, businesses and organizations and the cooperation of local leaders that drive strong economic development.
The AEDC team and our partners will continue to work tirelessly for our communities. Together we will support existing industry and job creation, support up-and-coming small businesses and advocate 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.
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