Times are not only “a-changing”, they have officially changed. Back in the 1980s, when a company was looking to relocate to a new community, the company would often send an official representative to the state economic development department and ask for a list of potential communities or counties. The company contact also sometimes sought out communities where they had a relationship, such as with a well-known or politically-connected banker, mayor or business leader who also happened to be associated with the local economic development board.
In today’s world, companies use more sophisticated tools to find a community in which to locate or expand. Companies still often desire to work through a point-of-contact at a state or regional economic development agency, like the Iowa Economic Development Authority or Greater Des Moines Partnership, which can then feed “leads” to groups like WCEDC and allow them to submit their best proposal. WCEDC staff spends time staying in contact with our economic development colleagues in order to maximize development opportunities here at home.
Business location searches today often start online, whereby companies decide to eliminate or keep communities on a “short-list” based on their discovery. One of the ways in which WCEDC appeals to companies who are considering location options is through a new website – www.wcedc.com. The new website is intended to showcase Warren County as a profitable area for businesses. The new website appeals to both the business owner who has never heard of places like Indianola, Norwalk, or New Virginia, and also the small business owner in Warren County who would like to start or expand their business.
The site also highlights the GroWARRENow brand relating to the strategy and method behind growing the area’s economy.
Too, the website integrates the functions of Location One Information System to showcase available site and building real estate options. Every business site selector’s search begins with location options. WCEDC desires to continue partnering with real estate professionals and property owners to put Warren County’s best foot forward when it comes to exposing real estate options to business prospects.
Finally, the website quenches the thirst of today’s business owner for statistical evidence about Warren County’s business climate. WCEDC has launched an “Economic Dashboard” within the website which provides everything from school enrollment trends, building permit counts by community, local industry makeup, changes in the area’s tax base, etc.
The new website and dashboard combine to arm the business owner or decision-maker with all of the research tools necessary to effectively analyze the makeup and fit of the Warren County area. Warren County is open for business. As the website says, we want everyone to check out Warren County, the ‘Southern Gateway to the Des Moines Metro’!