A critical piece to being competitive and attracting primary-sector* companies is a strong community where people want to live. That includes excellent education and a beautiful, revitalized downtown! And with a great downtown and excellent schools across the metro (along with the many other quality of life aspects), the Greater Fargo Moorhead area is in a competitive position to attract new businesses.
Another top factor is talent availability. Does your community have a labor force that meets the company’s qualification? And that’s a challenge for communities across the nation according to Jeff Rossate, Executive Director, Office of Business Development, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MN DEED) who presented about business development strategies to area business and elected leaders.
Rossate also talked about the importance of developing relationships with site selection professionals, those who help companies decide where to locate or expand their business.
For our region, a next step is building a stronger relationship with those professionals including visits to the metro.
“We need to spend some time getting key people familiar with the area,” said Joe Raso, President & CEO, GFMEDC.
Finally, Rossate touted the importance of smart growth and recruiting companies that make sense for a region based on size and sector saying that it’s important to think carefully about what makes sense for the client and the community. He added the importance of a strong focus on local companies.
“The greatest opportunity you have is helping existing companies grow and expand,” said Rossate.
The GFMEDC organized and sponsored the event and plans to have a similar event with the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
* A primary-sector company is one that exports a majority of its goods and services outside the trade area bringing new wealth into the region.