The board of directors for S.E.E.D., the newest economic development group based in Altona, has hammered out a mission and a set of priorities following a strategic planning session. Now, members are sharing that message with
"Our main objective is...to be a pro-active catalyst for economic growth through collaborative partnerships," said Brad Iverson, S.E.E.D. chairperson.
He explained the Board has laid out four main priorities in order to accomplish this mission.
The first is to stimulate business growth by identifying new business opportunities and supporting them in a way that makes them successful.
Second, members have committed to advancing prosperity in the area by identifying investors to fund new business expansion and start-ups.
The third priority is to tell the story of the area including Rhineland, Plum Coulee, Gretna and Altona (RPGA). "This is about growing our outreach to raise awareness of the RPGA as a great place to work, live and visit," said Iverson.
Finally, the board has committed to running S.E.E.D. efficiently and maintaining a balanced budget.
Iverson added S.E.E.D. will also promote existing economic and chamber organizations in the area by serving as the initial point of contact for interested entrepreneurs and investors, connecting them to resources that are already available.
"There are so many questions that an entrepreneur has when it comes to new business development and it's one of those things where if we don't have the answer, we're going to connect them to somebody who does," he explained. Those resources include the Altona Community Development Corporation, RPGA Planning District, and the chambers of commerce in Altona and Plum Coulee. "By coming to see us, we will direct you to those organizations and you will get your answer," added Iverson.
He stressed communication will be key to this process and said S.E.E.D. members plan to regularly meet with all stakeholders in order to create a cohesive effort towards economic development.
"We're going to be working all of those groups to clarify roles...and hopefully we'll be able to clear some of the fogginess that's out there."
Meantime, S.E.E.D. plans to deploy a broad network of 'brand ambassadors' to help accomplish these goals. They will be responsible for promoting and fostering economic growth in the area.
"An ambassador creates business relationships, helps mentor entrepreneurs...we'll be increasing our network to cast a broader net to make sure opportunities aren't missed," said Iverson.
Now that the groundwork has been laid and a strategy for the organization has been established, those interested in learning more are encouraged to stop by the S.E.E.D. office in the Golden West building or visit the website.website.
"We are here to help," said Stephanie Harris, S.E.E.D. economic development officer.