This past week was celebrated across the United States and Canada as Economic Development Week. Created in 2016 by the International Economic Development Council, the Ardmore Development Authority and other community economic development organizations across North America, use this week to highlight and promote the role the economic development plays in their community.
For those of you who don’t follow us on either Facebook or LinkedIn, here is a brief recap of the week. First, everything our team does is with the intent of creating an environment where businesses of all sizes are able to thrive. Both small, locally owned businesses and large employers play vital roles in the overall economic health of the community.
Next, we discussed talent attraction’s piece in the economic development puzzle. All of Ardmore’s education providers, whether local school districts, Southern Tech, or Murray State College in Ardmore, help produce and attract people who will work at businesses in the area. Restaurants, shops, and other community amenities are also vitally important in being able to attract and retain employees. Without places to go and things to do outside of working hours, it is hard for a community, and ultimately employers, to keep people.
Day four of Economic Development Week was all about tourism, the purest form of economic development. When people visit Ardmore, they stay at hotels, eat at restaurants and shop at our local stores. This money helps each one of those businesses as well as the local tax base which is used to provide city services like streets, fire, and police protection. The beauty of tourism is that while the tax money is being generated by tourists, the number of people needing city services daily is not increased because tourists inevitably go home.
The final topic of the week was the role of partnerships. None of the topics above are possible without strong partnerships with other local organizations. The ADA works hand-in-hand with the City of Ardmore, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce as well as multiple organizations in healthcare and education to better the overall economic health of Ardmore and the surrounding communities. On a statewide level, partnerships with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Chickasaw Nation, and OG&E have proven vital in putting Ardmore on the map!