Corridor participates in BEST of Iowa interviews

10 Feb 2020

Blog, News Release, Economic Development, Business Expansion, Business Retention and Expansion, Economy

Corridor participates in BEST of Iowa interviews

Goal to provide a state-wide existing business strategy


SPENCER – The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation announces the beginning of the 2020 Business Expansion & Strategic Trends (BEST) of Iowa interviews. BEST of Iowa is a strategic partnership between economic development organizations and utility companies throughout Iowa that provides a state-wide existing business strategy. The Corridor has conducted these interviews for 14 years.

BEST of Iowa, formerly known as the Existing Industry Call Program, is used to identify opportunities for growth, potential threats to retain jobs and any impediments that discourage local expansion. Economic development organizations are dedicated to collecting this data for the betterment of the state, regions and local communities.

Corridor staff, led by Business Retention & Workforce Partnership Coordinator Joanne Follon, conduct in-depth interviews with major employers in manufacturing, ag and service-related businesses in the region to gather information. A standard questionnaire is used for each company visit to help accurately identify individual business needs, concerns and suggestions about the local business climate. In 2019, 22 companies were interviewed in the four-county region. Thirty or more interviews will be scheduled in 2020.

“One of the best parts of my job is administering the Business Expansion and Strategic Trends Program for the Iowa Lakes Corridor Region each year,” says Follon. “The program offers us the opportunity to meet with Presidents and CEO’s of businesses and acquire a deeper understanding of their organizations along with the concerns and challenges they face every day. At the Corridor we strive to develop strong working relationships and provide resources to assist and improve our business climate.”

Upon completion of these interviews, the Corridor compiles the information, monitors economic trends and adjusts work accordingly. All company information is confidential, and all reports are done in aggregate form.

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The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. Its mission is to foster, encourage, aid, promote or otherwise assist in the economic growth and development of the region. For more information about the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, call 712-264-3474 or visit