Barron County Economic Development Corporation to Host Economic Gardening Conference
Barron County Economic Development Corporation will host the 1st annual Economic Gardening Conference in Rice Lake, WI, on May 2, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference cost is $30.00 per attendee.
The conference’s primary focus is to give business leaders and economic development representatives the tools necessary to cultivate viable business development programs that will strengthen their communities, regions and state. It will be located in the Conference Center of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake.
Economic development practitioners from throughout Wisconsin and surrounding states practicing economic gardening or interested in learning more about the concept are invited to attend.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce the principle of economic gardening to business, political and economic development leaders in the region,” said Jim Metcalf, President of Barron County Economic Development Corporation. “We are excited to host this event at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake to introduce the benefits of implementing economic gardening in this region and build strong partnerships to support launching a program.”
Economic gardening is a development strategy that was first coined in Colorado in the mid-1980’s. In this approach, secondary market research is used to retain and expand existing businesses, as opposed to spending resources to attract new businesses to a community. As a result, businesses stabilize and grow, create new jobs, and generate new investments in their communities.
Guest speakers include Christian Gibbons, Director of Business/Industry Affairs in Littleton, Colo., and Mark Lange, Executive Director for the Edward Lowe Foundation.
Gibbons is co-inventor of economic gardening. Gibbons has run this project for the City of Littleton for 24 years. From the period 1990 to 2010, the number of jobs in Littleton more than doubled from 15,000 to 30,000 and sales tax revenues more than tripled from $6 million to $21 million. The city did not recruit one industry during this period, nor did it offer one cent in incentives or tax rebates.
Lange has led the Edward Lowe Foundation to increased national recognition and a focus on second-stage entrepreneurs. To assist these entrepreneurs, the foundation works through local and regional support organizations to deliver education programs, recognition events and information services. Lange currently oversees the foundation’s national advocacy for economic gardening and the development of Youreconomy.org.
For more information call David Armstrong at 715-234-2845.