Getting creative with community development

There has never been a better time in recent history to brainstorm new ways to think about community development than right now. We have the time to consider the way we plan for the future and apply creativity and innovation to attracting and retaining business for our region. 


We believe that one of the best ways to gather new ideas is to reach out to community residents for their thoughts on new ways to enhance and grow their hometowns. Analyzing the strengths and challenges of your community is a great way to start the process. What's working? Where are the gaps? What can you and your neighbors do? How should elected officials be included in the conversation? When we start by asking the right questions, we often come up with ideas that can make positive changes in our communities. 


The Minnehaha and Lincoln County Economic Development Associations exist to help communities reset their development efforts. As a facilitator of conversations, LCEDA and MCEDA can help focus the efforts of the whole community on growth in a needed direction. We serve our investor communities, utilities, and businesses in a wide variety of ways—by attracting potential new companies and hosting tours of our region, by acting as a resource for expanding businesses, and by connecting communities, sharing good ideas, and directing attention to the importance of regional economic development. 


That's what we do—but we can become an even greater resource for our region's economic growth by leveraging the power of our members, developing new and innovative concepts for building community consensus, and finding creating ways to connect new and expanding businesses to the right location in our two-county area. 


Think of what your community needs, plan your next move and get in touch. We're ready with information, facilitation, and connections that can move your hometown to the next step. Let's get creative and get some innovation going in our region! Please contact me at or 605-339-0103. 


By Jesse Fonkert, Executive Director, Lincoln and Minnehaha County Economic Development Associations

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