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A Solid Foundation For Future Success:’ The Fremont Economic Development Corporation Reflects On The Previous Ten Years

Fremont Economic Development Corp. stood at a fork in the road ten years ago, deciding whether to become a viable member of a communitywide economic development initiative or just close its doors.

The board of directors decided to get down to business and engaged Rob Brown to spearhead the charge.

Brown, who has been the executive director of FEDC for the past 10 years, spoke at the organization’s annual business meeting and banquet Friday about the 10th anniversary of the restructuring effort and the fifth anniversary of the “START” initiative, which includes TechSTART, WellSTART, and now AgSTART.

“I believe we’ve laid the groundwork for future success,” Brown added. “In our particular economic growth industry, that is unrivaled.” We are really optimistic about our future prospects.”

According to him, FEDC’s sectors grew in 2021 and are thriving in the community.

“Once we decided to restart FEDC, that was the start of the ball spinning,” he explained. “There were some very brave people on the FEDC board who said we’re either going to reconstruct this thing or we’re going to turn it off and go home.”

“The idea that I want to impress upon everyone is that in order to achieve economic resilience – or economic prosperity – something has to be contributed,” Brown stated. “You have to add to it in order to have resiliency, in order to have prosperity, and that might be capital, money, jobs, people, creativity, human ability – you have to contribute to it.”

To be successful, a net gain must be added.

“That’s exactly what we did with FEDC – we added to something that didn’t have anything,” he explained. “For the next ten years, that will remain the motto.”

Brown also mentioned the community’s continuous growth, but said that more people are needed.

Caon City had a population of roughly 10,000 people in 1972. The population was 17,141 people last year, an increase of around 140 people or 48 families per year. That statistic corresponds to the City’s 2021 building report, which revealed that 48 new residential building licenses were obtained last year.

“That puts us right on track with the same number of new households that we’ve had for the last 50 years,” Brown added.

Last year, the county sold almost 900 homes, including 48 new ones.

“What we’re seeing is that when there’s an existing inventory of homes, someone buys it and someone moves,” he explained. “That means there is no net growth simply because our real estate market is so strong.” What I’m getting at is that we need to figure out how to add more people to this region in order to fuel future growth and economic prosperity.”

It’s critical to recruit school teachers, nurses, and first responders who don’t currently live in the area.

“Another factor is that people don’t want to relocate to diminishing cities,” he added. “It’s a proven fact.”

Brown also offered some advise to anyone who want to start their own business, the first of which was to encourage firms that are Amazon-proof.

“Find enterprises that don’t match that traditional description,” he continued, “that can only be given belly to belly or in your local market.” “That’s your best chance of succeeding.”

He also urged people to consider about near-shoring and to pay attention to potential clients.

“Just pay attention. Simply inquire. He stated, “People will tell you what they want and need.” “And you have to feel sorry for them.”

Listening to them, feeling their suffering, and comprehending their difficulties will bring you down to their level, allowing you to see things from their point of view.

“Once you do that, you’ve taken a big step forward,” Brown explained. “FEDC can assist with that specific cause.”

FEDC can help with the government side and push things forward in the appropriate direction.

Brown stated, “I want to build a runway for success.” “I want these people to have a chance to succeed.” I wish to create and manage new and existing ecosystems.”

In addition, he would want to see a new and expanding support system.

“We really need to construct this runway for success and put these tools under our tool belt for the next 10 years,” he said. “Most critically, we must maintain our relevance.”

Brown, Diana Armstrong, and Brad Rowland were all acknowledged by the FEDC Board of Directors for their contributions with the organization during the conference.

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