The 10th Annual Northwest Iowa Development (NWID) Partner Meeting held utilizing Zoom online video technology on September 30.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Introduces the Program
NWID presented its annual message to community and regional leaders in attendance representing members in Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties and the city of LeMars. Participants included representatives from economic development, business, city councils and boards of supervisors and others with an interest in growing the region.
The presentation outlining Northwest Iowa Development activities and accomplishments and (virtual) presentation of awards
“While our 10th annual event utilized technology to deliver our message, the commitment of our Northwest Iowa Development organization and economic developers remains strong and is focused on growing the counties and cities in our region,” NWID Chairman Steve Simons of Lyon County said following the event. “It was great that Governor Kim Reynolds was able to kick off our meeting and point out the importance of local efforts and regional organizations to economic development in Iowa.”
Larry Cope, Hawarden Community/Economic Development Director and Vice Chair of NWID, presented the focused efforts NWID undertakes related to the five key building blocks that Northwest Iowa Development is working to strengthen. First, NWID’s continuing effort to support market expansion of regional businesses through foreign trade and its foreign trade zone #288. Second, responding to the local business challenges of COVID-19 and third, the NWID efforts to address the workforce challenges of regional manufacturers through its Northwest Iowa Manufacturing Sector partnership. Additionally, the fourth building block is NWID’s establishment of the Shop Where I Live local online marketplace for small businesses and, fifth, is NWID’s annual participation in the Dream Big Grow Here contest for entrepreneurs.
Northwest Iowa Development presented three awards, which will be presented in person to local organizations in the coming month.
RiverView Ridge Senior Living in Rock Valley (City of Rock Valley and Doug Carlson Construction) was recognized by Northwest Iowa Development with the Kirk Grau Business or Organization Innovation Award for completion of the 46-unit independent and senior living facility. It wasn’t an easy road, since the nearly completed facility burned to the ground in July 2019. With hard work and vision the facility was rebuilt and RiverView Ridge is near reopening one year later.
Receiving the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support Award was the Lyon County Lend-A-Hand COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program with 20 Lyon County organizations contributing funds to the effort. As COVID-19 last March led to business closures, businesses impacted were left in shock, confused and fearful of an unknown future. Twenty partners mobilized to raise funds, 81 county COVID-19 impacted small businesses applied and received assistance to get them through the early months of COVID-19 closures.
Also receiving the Beyond Expectations Economic Development Support Award was the City of Hawarden (Mayor and City Council) for their commitment and investment in economic development and city infrastructure to grow the community. From visioning sessions to investment in city infrastructure, the city has set in place the tools to grow and attract businesses with necessary infrastructure for years to come.
Dr. Ernie Goss discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the economy
The Partners meeting featured economist Dr. Ernie Goss of Creighton University, who shared insights on the current economy and how COVID-19 has impacted everything from logistics and production to employment and foreign trade.
“The annual Partners Meeting highlights regional cooperation and is our way to show appreciation for the economic development efforts and contributions our partners and stakeholders make to grow northwest Iowa,” Simons explained following the Partner Meeting.
Northwest Iowa Development is a regional economic development marketing organization focused on growing businesses and communities in northwest Iowa. It includes the counties of Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties and the city of LeMars. For more information, visit www.northwestiowa.com or contact your local economic development organization.