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What Do Local Economic Development Organizations Do, Exactly? Just About Everything!

By: Chad Ruston on February 5th, 2020

Celebrating Local Leadership in Northeast Indiana's 11 Counties

When the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006, the founders clearly understood regionalism was the key to success. They also understood that without the Local Economic Development Organizations (LEDOs) coming together and acting as one, regionalism would not prevail.

Fourteen years later, this is just as true as it was when the Regional Partnership was formed. Today, the LEDOs remain the cornerstone of Northeast Indiana’s quest for economic prosperity.

LEDOs play an incredibly important role in their communities. Clearly, as the job title indicates, the role of the LEDO is to create a more prosperous community through economic development. This requires the LEDO to know the community well, nurture deep relationships with many stakeholders, have well-thought-out strategies and demonstrate the ability to execute and deliver. To do this well is extremely challenging and time-consuming.

Typically, LEDOs must effectively manage the following areas if they are to deliver results for their respective communities:

  • Business Retention & Expansion (BRE): Support local businesses and help enable them to grow
  • Marketing & Attraction: Market and sell the community to attract new businesses
  • Entrepreneur & Small Business Development: Provide resources and make connections
  • Commercial Real Estate Development: Ensure sufficient unique sites and assets are available
  • Housing Real Estate Development: Ensure sufficient housing to support workforce needs
  • Finance: Help businesses access public and private financial services
  • Workforce Development: Develop and support a robust, resilient talent pool for businesses
  • Strategic Planning: Convene stakeholders to develop long-range community plans
  • International Opportunities: Attract foreign direct investment (FDI) through services and support 

As you can see from the above, LEDOs work in concert with many community stakeholders in multiple areas and are absolutely critical to communities and to Northeast Indiana. And the results of the LEDOs are very visible to communities. 

In 2019 alone, through their efforts, LEDOs produced the following results:

  • 113 projects (business expansion and attraction)
  • $691 million in capital investment
  • 3,263 new jobs
  • $142 million in new wages

So please join me in celebrating Northeast Indiana’s LEDOs and all that they do for their communities and the region. Although their efforts may not be visible to all of us every day, the results they produce do, in fact, impact us daily.

Today someone has a job. A resident is eating at a new restaurant. Families are purchasing homes because, in part, of the work of the LEDOs. 

Today, just as in 2006, the LEDOs remain the cornerstone of Northeast Indiana economic development and are a key reason we are prospering in Northeast Indiana. Cheers to you, LEDOs.

There’s a place for you in Northeast Indiana. Whether you’re looking to relocate your business or move your family, you’ll find that each of our 11-counties provide a unique place to live and work.

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Categories & Tags Business Innovation