A Year-in-Review: West Central Economic Development Alliance’s Highlights of 2023

A Year-in-Review: West Central Economic Development Alliance’s Highlights of 2023 Main Photo

25 Jan 2024

Celebrating a Successful Year

The West Central Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) had an eventful 2023 with several key moments to note. 2023 was a year to remember, starting with the introduction of new leadership and ending with an important conversation with legislators.

Focused on Continuous Progress for Wadena County

Last year was full of activity for WCEDA, and we even made some exciting memories. Now we reflect on our organization's achievements of 2023, spotlighting a select few that have left a significant mark on the Wadena County business community. Below are some of the major events that WCEDA worked on and experienced last year.

Commencement of New Leadership 

Hope Williams joined as the Executive Director of the Economic Alliance in March of 2023, offering years of related experience and a fresh perspective. She has been spending a lot of time getting to know current sponsors, plus connecting with local businesses and communities.

Introduction of the Residential Tax Abatement Policy 

Williams sat on the board that designed this new county policy which would encourage the construction of new primary residence single and two-family housing units, address the housing shortage, and increase the value of the future tax base of Wadena County. The Residential Tax Abatement Policy—in effect since September 5, 2023—is meant to be a simple application that almost anyone building a new home in Wadena County could apply for.

Staying Connected to Further Business Growth

In 2023, WCEDA worked with 7 businesses in Wadena County, and is still working with some. Our team helped these businesses with starting, expanding, or transitioning.

New Marketing Material

Last year, the team also increased marketing for the Economic Alliance. Part of the new marketing material is an extensive information packet about WCEDA.

A Conversation with Legislators

Toward the end of the year on Dec 4th, Senator Paul Utke and House Representative Mike Wiener, as well as two Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representatives, came to Wadena County to discuss critical issues impacting the county’s residents and businesses. Key takeaways from the conversation will help with a smooth transition into this year, leading to a host of opportunities ahead.

Looking Forward to Even More Progress in 2024

After the successful year, WCEDA is inspired and motivated for what’s to come. Our team is eager to create and implement more strategies that will aid in fostering continuous growth in the Wadena County business community. Advancement of the local economy and an enhanced quality of life for Wadena County residents is what we strive for.

We appreciate all of the businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups that make up the communities in our region. We are thankful for the individuals and organizations that work with us to help these businesses thrive in West Central Minnesota. Let’s keep the cooperation levels high this year to better our communities.

At WCEDA, we help guide West Central Minnesota businesses and entrepreneurs to some available tools and resources for launching or expanding a business. We welcome inquiries about business development in Wadena County. Give us a call at (218) 837-5950 or email us at wceda@wcta.net so that we can answer your questions.