Alexandria Area Economic Development Staff Members

(Left to Right) Abby Strom: Community & Workforce Development Coordinator, Samantha Graf: Marketing & Communications Coordinator & Nicole Fernholz: Executive Director

The Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC) is excited to be celebrating National Economic Development Week, May 8th through 13th in the Alexandria area.  "National Economic Development Week is a wonderful way to bring increased awareness to those development programs that enhance the local economic impact. We as the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission continue to strive in promoting and strengthening our community in many facets." - Nicole Fernholz, Executive Director, Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission

Abby Strom and Nicole Fernholz were guests on KXRA's One on One program.  (the following audio clip is that segment on the AAEDC)

What is Economic Development? By definition, economic development is the efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base. Even though there isn’t a typical “one size fits all” all Economic Development Organization's (EDO) assist in developing vibrant communities and creating high-quality jobs, but there is no single strategy, policy or program used for achieving successful economic development An EDO can service a city, county, region or state – our Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC) provides services to all of Douglas County. The services an EDO provides also vary by organization.

One organization may focus heavily on workforce development while another may look largely at downtown development and revitalization. The AAEDC has several programs and initiatives that help market the entire region to attract new businesses, as well as assist in retaining and expanding the businesses that currently reside here.

• Demographic Information: Our office puts out the annual Alexandria Area Facts Guide which is a community profile providing a demographic and statistical overview of Douglas County. This data is used not only by prospective companies looking to relocate to the area but also by individuals looking to move to our community or local businesses who are undergoing strategic planning.

• Business Planning and Startup: If you have an idea for a business startup and are unsure of the steps to make it happen, the AAEDC office can assist you in all aspects of the journey to start and grow a business. AAEDC services are completely confidential and provided free of charge to the businesses and residents of Douglas County. We also partner with other entities to be a full-service stop – the West Central Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultants will meet with entrepreneurs and small business owners during this time and provide cost-free, confidential consulting and assistance services.

• Financial Assistance: Since 2002, the AAEDC has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars of incentives to area employers. We have many incentive programs that are designed to support successful business growth. One of those is our Revolving Loan Fund Program that supplies small businesses and entrepreneurs with the gap financing needed to start or expand their business.  Revolving Loan Funds (RLF’s) have become an increasingly popular business financing tool because of the ability to leverage public and private dollars, as well as the bonus of recycling these funds within a community.

• Site Selection Assistance: In a continuously growing effort to assist area realtors and property owners in marketing commercial properties throughout the area, the state, and the nation, the AAEDC maintains two supplemental property listing databases of “for-sale” and “for lease” properties throughout Douglas County. These databases are free for the listing of commercial properties in Douglas County and serve as a database of properties that can be easily accessed by individuals, businesses, and site selectors from throughout the nation.

• Workforce Development: The AAEDC has launched a campaign called Living Alexandria Area with the intention of creating awareness and attraction of potential workforce to the Alexandria area.  Our office also partners with the Academies of Alexandria

– to help provide them with new opportunities in hopes of finding a career, whether they continue their education or step directly into the workforce, and the Alexandria Technical and Community College - Customized Training Center 

– to offer regional training's and development for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

For more information about the AAEDC or our programs/services please visit:  Economic Development Week was created and is coordinated by The International Economic Development Council. It is being held during the week of the organization’s 91st anniversary as the largest professional membership organization for economic developers. 2017 will be the second consecutive year Economic Development Week was coordinated by IEDC. More than 75 communities participated in the 2016 campaign.