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Happy Economic Development Week!

It’s the second week of May, and that means it’s time to celebrate! May 7 is the first day of Economic Development Week, the global celebration of the economic development profession and professional.

Economic Development Week is just two years old, but its influence is growing. Since 2016, there have been more than 500 individual Economic Development Week celebrations across the United States and Canada. Mayors, governors, and federal agencies have signed proclamations recognizing EDW and all the hard work economic developers do to make their communities stronger.

Economic Development Week was conceived by former IEDC Board Chair Barry Matherly. Matherly laid out his vision for EDW in an ED Now interview back in January 2016:

Economic development groups come in all shapes and sizes, from one-person shops to highly sophisticated organizations. The point is to focus back on why we have an association and the reason IEDC exists in the first place: to support the local economic developer. Without them, there is no IEDC. We can do a lot to support economic developers just by raising awareness and by creating a more positive environment for them. Economic Development Week also will be a way to help dispersed professionals celebrate together.

Perhaps your celebration plans are already unfolding, but if not, there’s still time to participate! IEDC’s EDW Celebration Toolkit (PDF) is full of practical advice and tips on how to assemble your local celebration. It’s sure to get the creative juices flowing. Hablas Español? IEDC recently debuted a Spanish version of the toolkit (PDF) for our Spanish-speaking communities and to grow EDW’s global reach. We also have digital and print templates to help brand your event.

Think you have an award-worthy celebration planned this year? Be sure to submit for the Innovation in Economic Development Week category for IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards. (The submission deadline for this category is June 1, later than the deadline for other IEDC awards.) The City of St. Charles, Missouri, took home the gold in the award’s inaugural year, and silver winners include Invest Buffalo Niagara in New York and the Economic Development Council of Colorado. You can hear tips from their award-winning celebrations from this free webinar.

Speaking of webinars, IEDC is offering a special ED Week webinar this Wednesday, May 9. IEDC President and CEO Jeff Finkle will discuss the new federal tax legislation and the latest congressional spending bill, which boosted funding for many critical economic development programs at the national level. We’ll also discuss what to expect from the federal government for the remainder of the year regarding infrastructure, trade, and more. The presentation is free, but registration is required.

IEDC wishes you all the best on this third annual Economic Development Week. Thank you for everything you do to make your communities more prosperous and livable. Don’t forget to give your efforts a shout out on social media! Speaking of, let’s see how your peers have been gearing up for EDW…