Leadership. Our greatest strength, asset, and advantage.
Economies are no longer defined by the boundaries of a city, county or, in some cases, state lines. Instead, regional economies are formed based on the assets of contiguous communities. These assets include business organizations; educational, health care and social service organizations; infrastructure; and most importantly, human capital.
The greater St. Cloud regional economy consists of multiple cities, including Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud, St. Augusta, St. Joseph, and Waite Park. What's more, our regional community is situated across three counties: Benton, Sherburne and Stearns. With each city and county in our region having their own set of unique attributes and assets, as well as economic development professionals, business representatives might find it difficult to evaluate our community for expansion or relocation purposes. Instead, these representatives are looking for standardized processes, tools and incentive systems from one, centralized point of contact for the greater St. Cloud area.
The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation is taking a leadership position in partnering with local cities, counties and Chambers of Commerce to deploy standardized, regional processes for business retention, expansion and attraction. The GSDC will develop these streamlined processes based on best practices, standard tools and technology, and continued, strategic analysis of the greater St. Cloud economy.
Through the leadership role of the GSDC, benefits that the greater St. Cloud region has realized include:
- Stronger Economic Base – standardized, regional processes will increase retention of existing businesses, stimulate business growth, create additional employment opportunities, and ultimately diversify the economic base of the community.
- United Front – local cities, counties and economic development professionals can present a cohesive regional approach to business attraction, retention and expansion.
- Shared Information – the GSDC will provide a baseline of regional information that can be analyzed, shared and acted upon in a consistent manner.
- Strategic Investments – the GSDC will lead a targeted approach in identifying "best fit" industries, opportunities and investments.
- Support Local Primary Sector Businesses – standardized processes will help to identify and address the needs and issues of individual companies within our community.
The GSDC has developed regional economic development processes that have been implemented to attract, retain and develop business in our community.
- Annual Business Blueprint – a comprehensive, annual survey gathering information on local primary sector businesses that will be analyzed to identify needs, opportunities and trends. This information will be used to identify and prioritize business clusters and develop strategies for attracting those clusters.
- Local Business Retention and Expansion – results from the Business Blueprint will be shared with appropriate stakeholders and used to compliment the efforts of city or county economic development professionals.
- Corporate Business Retention and Expansion – The GSDC will orchestrate efforts among local city or county representatives and other officials in conducting visits to various corporate headquarters.
- Business Recruitment and Attraction – The GSDC will identify underutilized assets and resources in the region and, in turn, new potential business clusters to be developed in the region.