Monroe County joins cities and counties nationwide to increase awareness of the positive work economic developers do to enhance local economic impact.
The Monroe County Business Development Corporation (BDC) is marking National Economic Development Week from May 4-9, 2020 to celebrate the contributions of positive economic development and explain the role of the profession in our local community.
Economic Development Week is an event created by the International Economic Development Council to celebrate the achievements of economic developers. Communities across the globe are preparing to participate in the 2020 Economic Development Week by highlighting the work being done through the profession. Although the beginning of 2020 has been a challenging time considering the COVID-19 pandemic, we still have much to celebrate in Monroe County.
Economic development is the intentional practice of improving a community’s economic well-being and quality of life. It includes a broad range of activities to attract, create, and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, pro-growth tax base and an inclusive economy. The practice of economic development comprises of a collaborative effort involving industry, government, and community stakeholders.
Communities began their own departments or independent organization such as the BDC, which was formed in 1982 during a recession. Local leaders comprised of government, business & industry, education, labor unions, banks and newspapers came together to form a 501(c)(3) with the mission of creating jobs and capital investment inside the county.
Since that time, the BDC and its partners have supported the development of several business and industrial parks throughout the county. We have been involved and supported over $4 Billion in capital investment in the county and the creation of over 14,000 new jobs.
Economic Development programs help existing businesses expand, new businesses find sites, partner with businesses and workforce to design training, help entrepreneurs achieve dreams, assist in disaster situations, and promote the community. Economic development improves our standard of living through the creation of jobs, the support of innovation and new ideas, the creation of higher wealth, and an overall better quality of life.
So how does the BDC make all this happen? Certainly not by ourselves. Our 3-person office has a lot of help and support. First is our Board of Directors, without their dedication to making their community a better place to live, work and play the BDC would not exist. This diverse group of leaders provide direction to the organization and support to the staff (Please visit our website to meet our Board). At the state level, we are the Michigan Economic Development Organization (MEDC)’s “local partner”. Therefore, we have the weight of the state behind what we do. Our utility partners play a large role in our success. Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, and Michigan Gas Utility not only sit on our Board of Directors they provide resources that without would limit our abilities to perform our work.
Support also comes from our community including the 55+ BDC investors representing both the public and private sector. Our community’s collaborative spirit is truly evident when looking at the Monroe County Link Plan. The Link Plan’s 6-Pillars of activity cover a wide range of work, none of which would be possible without the help and support of the 70 + volunteers involved on various committees and sub committees. Now into its third year, the Link Plan is beginning to see results as we work to on Priority Development Sites, enhance the Quality of Life, secure tourism as an economic development driver, enhance the skills of our workforce to meet in–demand jobs in the region, and enhance our entrepreneurial ecosystem. .
Over the past month, we have been helping our local businesses get “back to work”. Amid the chaos, if there is some way we can help you, please give us a shout. Together, we will succeed and thrive.