Partnership is an essential element in the success of the Minnehaha and Lincoln County Economic Development Associations. Working together—combining our strengths to achieve growth in both counties—has served our regional economy well for almost three decades. But equally important are the unique elements that make each community, each utility, and each company different from every other.
Community pride is an essential part of that equation, expressed in community celebrations and—especially this year—the support of local businesses. The ownership and civic pride felt by citizen volunteers and elected officials keep our communities growing. We share good ideas with other communities in our region, and find new ways to express the strong sense of place that makes each community a great place to live.
Just as diversity makes companies and states stronger, more innovative, and more successful, having distinctive communities makes regional economic development thrive. When corporate executives visit our region to explore locations for a business expansion, we can show them a range of options, with individual industrial park sites in a variety of different communities. Meeting with people who have invested in their hometowns and feel a strong sense of local pride encourages new companies to make that investment, too.
Communities that are distinct from each other also provide choices for the new families that move to our region each year. When new people explore our communities, they find local retail options, civic organizations, and consistently excellent schools that give them strong reasons to make a home here.
As we plan the future of regional economic development, we can depend on community pride in each LCEDA and MCEDA community. We celebrate the values we share, the ways in which we are similar, and the distinct qualities which make each community in our region unique—and how those things prepare us for even stronger future economic growth.
By Jesse Fonkert, Executive Director, Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations
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