Local News Column: Exploring the Definition of Economic Development

Earlier this month, the Chamber of Commerce and communities across North America celebrated Economic Development Week. This is a week dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the contributions made by expert economic developers to building more economically vibrant and livable communities. The week was created in 2016 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest international professional trade association for economic developers. Economic Development Week creates jobs and career development opportunities in communities everywhere. The aim is to raise awareness of community programs that promote social welfare and improve the quality of life.

IEDC defines economic development as deliberate practices to improve the economic well-being and quality of life of a community. This definition includes a wide range of activities to attract, create and retain jobs, promote a resilient and pro-growth tax base and an inclusive economy. Economic development practices consist of collaborative efforts involving myriad stakeholders from industry, governments, and communities.

As one of Sheridan County’s leading economic development organizations, the Chamber of Commerce continues to evolve to help revitalize and prepare communities. The Chamber of Commerce promotes economic growth in the region through its diverse membership of over 770 members, programs, resources, and vital connections it develops. The Chamber of Commerce Sustainability and Expansion Committee is a prime example of how the Chamber of Commerce promotes economic development in Sheridan County. This committee hosted the 8th Annual Ignite Conference this month, providing professional development and educational opportunities for executives and professionals to help strengthen and grow local businesses.

The BRE Commission also hosts an annual National Manufacturing Day celebration each October, highlighting corporate efforts as well as BRE efforts. You will also get career opportunities in the industry as well as local manufacturers. Each year, the committee also hears dozens of guest presenters discussing topics that affect the maintenance and expansion of businesses.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Sheridan County programs help individuals step up to leadership roles within their business, serve on the boards of local organizations, and develop community leaders who can deliver outstanding service. Individuals can serve their community in a variety of ways through these programs.

Through the Chamber of Commerce’s Committee on Government Affairs, the organization stays abreast of the latest state and local laws that may affect businesses. As an advocate for all businesses in Sheridan County, the Chamber of Commerce strives to ensure a business-friendly environment for strong economic health.

Partnerships and community cooperation are key to strong economic development. The Chamber of Commerce emphasizes its role in the Regional Economic Development Task Force, which is made up of representatives from the Wyoming Business Council, the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority (SEEDA), Sheridan University, the City of Sheridan, Sheridan County, the Downtown Sheridan Association, Impact Sheridan, Vital Community Center, and the Sheridan County Travel and Tourism Authority. This group works together to address issues that affect the economic health of Sheridan County’s communities.

As the voice of Sheridan County business for over 100 years, the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a leader in the economic development of this community. Jodie Hartley, Director of Marketing and Communications, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, authored this content.

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