A thank you to our Cities & Counties

13 Feb 2020

Blog, Community, Economic Development, Partnerships

A humming downtown. New houses. Smooth streets. Safe neighborhoods. Jobs, jobs, jobs.


Folks in rural Iowa demand a lot of our cities and counties, and we rarely say thank you. As we near the end of our series on vital economic development partners, let’s correct that offense.


Thank you for investing in the infrastructure to support growth. When spring finally gets here the backhoes, dump trucks and pavers will come out of hibernation across the Corridor. Businesses and residents alike will benefit from the results—improved water, sewer and roads. Without these projects, friction would cause our economy to seize.


Thank you for development-friendly tax policies. I read recently that Iowa’s combined state and federal income tax burden is the highest in the nation. That makes us appreciate all the more that local government officials take a reasoned approach to taxes, informed by the needs both to constrain collections and to provide high-quality services. Do they sometimes err in one direction or the other? Of course, but their general success is remarkable, particularly given frequent interference from Des Moines.


Thank you for a get-to-yes approach to business. In any one year, the Corridor will work on a dozen or so manufacturing projects and assist more than 20 early-stage ventures. There is only one response we get when we approach cities and counties on behalf of these companies: How can we help? Whether businesses are looking for real estate, need answers on permitting and utilities, or simply want to understand the trajectory and growth of the community, city and county staff members act quickly, courteously and effectively. Never does our economic development team worry about government inefficiency or opposition. On the contrary, we count local government among our competitive advantages.


Thank you for employing financial incentives when necessary. Right or wrong, incentives are the way the game is played. Local companies appreciate them, nationals and internationals demand them. In the Corridor, local leaders sell our strengths: Great workers, low costs, strategic location. But when the time comes, they use targeted incentives to bring a deal home. The result has been thousands of jobs.


Let’s wrap this up with a final shout-out to all the great men and women patrolling the streets, balancing the budgets, driving the snowplows, and performing a thousand other essential government functions.


Thank you for making the Corridor such a great place to live and work.