Corridor releases 2023 Business Retention & Expansion Report

Corridor releases 2023 Business Retention & Expansion Report Main Photo

25 Mar 2024

Business Retention and Expansion, News, News Release, Press Release


The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation (Corridor) has released the 2023 Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Report summarizing findings from 74 business and industry visits within the four-county Corridor region of Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, and Emmet.

BRE interviews are vital to identify expansion opportunities, forecast economic investment and job creation, identify businesses at risk of downsizing or closing, provide succession planning resources, provide insight for allocation of resources, generate facts to support marketing initiatives and legislative advocacy, and foster relationships with Corridor businesses. All visit responses are confidential, and each year Corridor staff compiles and presents the data in aggregate form.

In 2023, Iowa Lakes Corridor Business Retention & Workforce Partnership Coordinator Joanne Follon performed 74 total BRE visits. Through these visits, expansion plans were identified in 46% of the companies, with estimated expansion projects in the next 3-5 years of over $524 million in capital investment and over 350 new jobs. Many businesses are seeing an increase in total company sales, with 53% reporting an increase, and 46% saying sales are stable.

According to the International Economic Development Council, an estimated 80% of a community’s growth in new jobs and capital investment comes from the companies that already exist in a community.

“BRE efforts are key to the success of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, our communities, and the region as a whole,” said Corridor President & CEO, Curt Strouth. “A community’s strength and potential lie in the businesses that are already here, and we need to connect with those businesses and support them in their growth and success.”

Responding companies identified the top regional strengths as work ethic of employees, supportive and business-friendly communities, and quality of life amenities. Weaknesses identified were a lack of workforce, housing, and childcare availability. There are an estimated 397 unfilled positions in the Corridor region, and 82% of businesses said they were experiencing recruitment problems.

“Visiting the region’s businesses provides the Corridor and our communities with insight to industry, community, and economic trends,” shared Follon. “We build relationships and support these businesses with resources and connections however we can.”

To read the entire report for the Corridor Region, please visit



The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is the regional economic development agency for Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. The Iowa Lakes Corridor’s mission is to foster, encourage, promote, aid or otherwise assist in the economic development growth and development of the four-county region.