Economic Development Programs

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Community Sustainability

Community Sustainability services focus on helping organizations and individuals meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. These services provide communities, economic developers, individuals, and businesses with the tools to manage the financial, social, and environmental issues they face to ensure success in the long run.

Branding Your Region - Food, Farms & Attracting Visitors

Participants will understand how telling the story of their farm helps to build relationships that attract visitors and increase food sales. Participants will understand the importance of branding and how agritourism plays a role in marketing the food and farm products of a region.

Business Continuity Planning

Increased customer confidence by ensuring the ability to meet their needs throughout a disruption; preliminary plan developed in one eight-hour session; reduced business interruption insurance costs by up to 15%.

Business Sustainability

Growing profits from sustainability initiatives; satisfy customer and stakeholder questions about going "green"; find new ways to reduce costs and increases profits through improving the environmental aspect of the company.

Buy Iowa Online E-Commerce Training

Participants become familiar with the Buy Iowa Online site and set up user accounts. Upon completion, participants are ready to select and package products for the central fulfillment center.

CD-DIAL (Community Development-Data Information and Analysis Laboratory)

Community survey and analysis

Communities to Community (C2C)

Potential outcomes include stabilizing downtown environments; improving citizen participation; encouraging diversity; capitalizing on small business and tourism opportunities; meeting housing needs; or achieving quality-of-life goals.

Community Tourism Assessment and Recommendations for Building Success

The community will learn how their current tourism assets and readiness place them within today’s tourism marketplace; and will receive recommended steps for building tourism as a community economic tool.

Community Visioning

A conceptual community transportation enhancement plan and the development of implementation strategies that empower communities to build meaningful townscapes, step by step, as resources become available.

Customer Service and Hospitality Training

Increased retail sales, more “local” shopping, improved tourism numbers, more friendly communities

Designing for an Elder Friendly Community

Sponsoring community will receive a master plan to assist in development as an Elder Friendly Community.

Grantwriting Training

Increased capacity of nonprofit organizations, local governments, and schools to secure funding to serve constituents' needs.

Iowa Community Indicators Program (ICIP)

Economic and demographic data and analysis for community development efforts, and local needs assessments.

Leadership Development

Participants will develop strong leadership skills, networking abilities, and connections to local issues, opportunities, and groups.

Nonprofit Management Academy

Participants will develop stronger nonprofit skills through information shared in classes and networking opportunities.

Regional Trade Center (RTC) Analysis

Regional stakeholders develop a plan for economic growth; participants learn the economic characteristics of the region and a comparative analysis to other Iowa RTCs; performance indicator analysis identifies potential improvements and areas of strength to build upon.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Low- and moderate-income taxpayers electronically file tax returns (at no charge) to receive Earned Income Tax and other tax credits.  Refunds are spent in the local community and improve financial wellbeing of low to moderate income wage earners.