June 2, 2023 2:17 pm

Earlier this month the Chamber and communities across North America celebrated Economic Development Week. During this week, we celebrate and recognize the contributions made by professional economic developers to create more economically vibrant and livable communities.

Created in 2016 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest international professional trade association for economic developers, Economic Development Week aims to increase awareness for local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere.

Ask 50 people what is economic development, and you’ll get nearly 50 completely different answers. IEDC defines economic development as the intentional practice of improving a community’s economic well-being and quality of life. It includes a broad range of activities to attract, create and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, pro-growth tax base and an inclusive economy. The practice of economic development comprises of a collaborative effort involving industry, government and a myriad of community stakeholders.

As one of the leading economic development organizations in Sheridan County, the Chamber continues to evolve so that we can help our community to energize, prepare for and promote local economic growth. This happens through our diverse membership of more than 770 members, as well as our programs, resources and important connections that we develop.

The Chamber’s Business Retention & Expansion Committee is a prime example of how the Chamber promotes economic development in Sheridan County. This committee hosted its 8th Ignite Conference this month to provide professional development and educational opportunities to business owners and professionals to help strengthen and grow local businesses.

The BRE committee also hosts the National Manufacturing Day celebration each October to highlight not only the work being done by local manufacturers but also the career opportunities available in the industry. The committee also hears from numerous guest presenters each year who discuss topics that impact business retention and expansion.

Our Leadership Sheridan County program helps grow leaders in our community who can step up into leadership roles within their businesses, serve on boards for local organizations and provide service to their community in many ways. 

Through the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, we keep our finger on the pulse of state and local legislation that can impact business. As advocates for all of Sheridan County’s businesses, we work to ensure a business-friendly environment for strong economic health. 

Partnerships and community cooperation are key to strong economic development, and the Chamber values its role on the local Economic Development Task Force. The EDTF is comprised of representatives from the Wyoming Business Council, Sheridan Economic and Education Development Authority (SEEDA), Sheridan College, City of Sheridan, Sheridan County, Downtown Sheridan Association, IMPACT Sheridan, Center for A Vital Community and Sheridan County Travel & Tourism. This group works together to tackle issues affecting the economic health of the community.

As the voice of business in Sheridan County for over 100 years, the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a leader in economic development for our wonderful community.

By Jodi Hartley, marketing and communications director of Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.