Coming Together To Meet Our Challenges …
By late 2015, these and other challenges prompted leaders associated with the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Ellsworth Development Authority and the Economic Development Foundation, among others, to rethink the fundamental manner in which our diverse region practices economic development. With the professional assistance of Convergent Nonprofit Solutions (CNS), confidential interviews with more than 100 business and community leaders were conducted in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2017. The interviews conducted confirm the aspirations and need to develop a robust strategy to grow the Rapid City economy. Among the findings:
- A joint partnership between the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Ellsworth Development Authority, Rapid City Economic Development Partnership and Economic Development Foundation is viewed very favorably. Local business and community leaders want to see aggressive strategies to maximize growth while minimizing duplication of effort. While the name implies a focus on Rapid City, all are in agreement that a stronger Rapid City makes for a stronger region.
- 90% of interviewees indicated they had benefitted directly and indirectly from the efforts of these organizations independently. Working together makes them a formidable force for change.
- All interviewees believe the Rapid City region must remain competitive to ensure a vibrant future. And, as area research revealed, job competing regions such as Sioux Falls run multimillion dollar capital campaigns focused on new jobs, payroll, and capital investment. It is imperative that this joint venture compete at a commensurate level or risk losing momentum and economic gains to competitors.