By Brian Buethe, President, CEO, Grimes Chamber & Economic Development
April 2021 Newsletter Article
Historically, the driving factor on where people chose to live was often based on where they could make a good living. Determine where the best job opportunity existed and move there in order to take advantage of the opportunity. While this is certainly still a consideration for some, it is not as prevalent overall as it has been in the past. To a growing degree, companies are often choosing to locate their businesses in communities where people want to live.
Good community leaders have always been interested in attracting well respected employers to their respective communities. In fact, there has always been, and likely will always be competition to attract great employers, because they have a tremendous impact on the well being of a community, financial and otherwise. Often, the very presence of a major employer or industry defines the community in which they reside. To use a couple extreme examples, try imagining Orlando, Florida without Disney World Resort or Hollywood, California without the film industry.
Business leaders often claim that their employees are their greatest resource. For most businesses, that is an absolute truth. In an era in which we have grown used to low unemployment rates, attracting and retaining qualified and/or trainable employees has become more challenging. Simply put, the supply/demand model for workforce has tilted in favor of the employees. This is why, as indicated earlier, people are choosing more often basing their place of residence on where they want to live. If enough good people choose a particular location, the jobs are likely to follow.
This is also why Grimes, like many of our neighboring communities, are increasingly investing in what are often referred to as “quality of life” amenities. Grimes IS a good place to live…but we want to be even better. We want to be better than other communities so that we can remain competitive for good people, which will result in good businesses wanting to be here too.
We are glad to see the City of Grimes investing in the types of projects that will bring both good people and good business investment to the community. Two notable examples of that investment are the City’s commitment to funding a new public library building and a splash pad. Like having good schools, these investments will make Grimes more attractive to people seeking a place to call home, especially if they intend to raise a family. Businesses support these initiatives as well, both with their tax dollars and through their philanthropic investments. By working cooperatively, we are building a better future for ourselves and those who will come after us.