By Patti Gartland, GSDC President
Three simple words with profound and prophetic implications: And prosper together.
When the GSDC’s vision statement adopted in 2011 was revisited this past year, consensus of the GSDC Board of Directors was quickly reached that it remains a good indication of what the GSDC strives to achieve for our region. But they also concluded that good doesn’t measure up to great. Once again, consensus was quickly reached that adding “and prosper together” moved the GSDC’s vision statement from good to great.
Greater St. Cloud is a growing and vibrant community where talented people choose to live, work, engage and prosper together.
So what’s on the horizon for 2019 for the GSDC that gives meaning to “and prosper together”? Lots!
· The GSDC led Airport Optimization Planning Study completion sets the stage for strategies to grow air service and economic impact of STC airport. This study is funded by a $250,000 grant secured by the GSDC.
· Opportunity Zones is a new federal tax deferral program for investors to direct capital gains to an Opportunity Fund for eligible projects in designated Opportunity Zones. GSDC assisted in efforts resulting in 3 zone designations in our region and will now work with partners to recruit and match investors with potential projects.
· Bringing nationally ranked startup business accelerator services (gener8tor) to our region to expand the development of new businesses and entrepreneurialism.
· Continue to assist the 91 business expansion project prospects in the GSDC’s Business Development Pipeline.
· Successfully complete leading efforts to create a Downtown Improvement District (DID) to further revitalize downtown St. Cloud.
· Connect businesses with financial resources to support training and expansion needs. Resource Procurement in 2018 resulted in 11 awards exceeding $2.4 million with 4 more awards in pursuit.
· Launch a year-long Regional Digital Marketing & Placemaking Campaign to promote our region for talent and business attraction.
· Grow traffic and content for the GreaterStCloud.com & JobSpot portals as the go-to sources for information, connections and job opportunities within our region.
· Advancing multitudes of Talent Development, Retention and Recruitment initiatives that strengthen the interface between education, business and job seekers (current and future).
· Support even more employers in creating a culture of well-being the in workplace with our Workplace Well-Being Initiative.
· Continue to co-lead efforts for hosting the annual TEDx St. Cloud event.
· Robustly celebrate the accomplishments of the GSDC since its founding in 2011 and opportunities that lie ahead with an Octennial Celebration event.
· Continue to support the Community Pillars initiative and efforts to create and maintain a Community Dashboard for assessing progress and impact in our region.
And prosper together. Let it be so.