Economic Development Week a High-Five for Those Who Give Entrepreneurs a Hand

Tom Giffey |

Like most economic activity itself, the work of economic development is nonstop – and frequently unnoticed. This week gives us a chance to change that – if only for a few days – and to tip our hats to the people who help businesses launch, flourish, and expand.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the week of May 8-14 has been officially declared Economic Development Week in the City of Eau Claire. In the words of a proclamation issued by City Council President Kerry Kincaid, “economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life in their communities and help create, retain, and expand jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base.” Furthermore, the proclamation declares, “economic developers stimulate and incubate entrepreneurs in order to help establish the next generation of new businesses.” Bottom line: It’s a big job, and the economic livelihood of our communities depends on it.

Economic Development Week is the brainchild of International Economic Development Council, a professional organization for economic developers. In the Chippewa Valley, the you’ll find those pros in the City of Eau Claire’s Economic Development Department (which serves economic needs in the city limits); the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation (which serves the whole county); and Momentum West (which serves a 10-county region of west-central Wisconsin). These groups are involved in a number of events to highlight the week:

An Economic Development Week Reception will be hosted by the Eau Claire Area EDC and sponsored by Xcel Energy from 4-6pm Wednesday, May 11, at the Chippewa Valley Innovation Center, 3132 Louis Ave., Eau Claire. A presentation by local entrepreneurs will be at 5pm.

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Office Home Office (SOHO) group, which is for Chamber members with five or fewer employees, will meet 4:30-6:30pm Thursday, May 12, at Lazy Monk Brewing, 97 W. Madison St., Eau Claire.