How Does Economic Development Work: Business Retention/Expansion/Entrepreneurship?

posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 in Economic Development

Written by Lisa Rivera Skubal, VP of Economic Development

The work in economic development is about advocating for businesses and public policy that help shape the economy while building and maintaining competitive cities and regions. 

Existing Business

Healthy communities have health existing businesses.  Job growth over time comes from our existing businesses.  Business retention programs are designed to assist existing businesses to help businesses navigate growth needs and endure difficult times within the community.

Retention programs typically involve partnerships among public and private organizations to identify industry trends and specific needs of individual companies through periodic surveys and visitations.  The intent is to establish relationships between the businesses and economic developers to strengthen existing business and be proactive to individual needs or in aggregate through advocacy.

If you receive an outreach from Grow Cedar Valley staff requesting an existing business meeting, please accept our offer to meet and support you.   Otherwise, please reach out to us for confidential assistance. 

Entrepreneurship: The Next Big Thing?

Entrepreneurship is turning a business idea into a real business based on goods and services demand. Incubators are one of many resources available to entrepreneurs including access to mentors, network, education, potential customers and venture capital.

In the Cedar Valley, REDCEDAR, University of Northern Iowa, Wartburg College, and Cedar Valley TechWorks to name a few collaborate with other entities like Grow Cedar Valley to support the next generation of innovation.

Economic Development Business Attraction: Why Do We Need It?

Communities and regions market to achieve multiple economic development objectives including new business attraction of domestic and international companies. Attracting businesses that can contribute to existing supply chain or attracting diversified industries to balance the communities' existing business base is the intent. This further helps create a healthy community by bringing new money into the regional economy.

Lisa Rivera Skubal, CEcD

If you want to learn more about Grow Cedar Valley and economic development programming, please contact Lisa Rivera Skubal, CEcD, Vice President of Economic Development at 232-1156 or