The Council recognized the City for two projects focused on developing small businesses:
- Grow Waynesboro – Special Purpose Website
- Grow Waynesboro 2016 Brochure – Special Purpose Print Brochure
The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 – 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to Waynesboro Economic Development and Tourism. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark,” said Michael Langley, FM, CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair.
The Grow Waynesboro website serves as the marketing and outreach arm of Grow Waynesboro, a flagship initiative of the City of Waynesboro’s Economic Development department to support new, locally owned and located small businesses. The website is part of a multi-tier effort including print, social media, and interpersonal interaction to stimulate excitement and interest in the entrepreneur development program. The initiative was made possible by a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Courtney Cranor, Assistant Director of Economic Development and Tourism, led the effort to create the website with collaboration from Meghan Williamson of Pine Knot Projects. The website not only marketed the program but also served as a portal for the 28 business plan competitors to submit proposals. This year, those entrants were awarded over $51,000 in assistance and training.
The Grow Waynesboro 2016 brochure compiled the data from the 2016 program—including number of new businesses, economic impact, and jobs created—and displayed it graphically using a “grow” theme. By highlighting the tangible benefits of the Grow Waynesboro initiative, the brochure was instrumental in securing a grant from the Community Business Launch (CBL) awards to fund the 2017 program.
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.
About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,400 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. www.iedconline.org
About the City of Waynesboro, Virginia
Waynesboro is strategically located in the I-81 corridor in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The city has a growing population of 21,000 within its 15-square-mile borders and is adjacent to 2 interstate highways, 3 railroads, 4 byways, and 5 airports allowing for easy and efficient connection to the world. The City has a strong heritage of manufacturing excellence and is a regional retail center and a major tourism hub.
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