Why Wall Rocks Series – #8 We Have a Plan!
22 Dec 2017
New year, new goals! What are your goals for 2018? Do you finally want to start a business? Have you been dreaming about building a new home? Are you ready to expand your business or hire more employees? The Wall Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is ready to help you achieve your 2018 dreams!
WEDC is excited to share its goals and strategic plan to kick off 2018.
Vision and Mission
The WEDC board of directors spent many hours in 2017 working on their long-term strategic plan. They were careful to make well-informed decisions because this plan impacts not only the board, but also the entire community and the community’s future. WEDC’s newly adopted vision and mission statements fit this philosophy perfectly.
The vision of the Wall Economic Development Corporation is for Wall to continue to be a dynamic community that future generations can call home.
The mission of the Wall Economic Development Corporation is to be a catalyst to encourage, facilitate and empower community members to generate dynamic growth in our community.
Priority #1 – Capital and Organizational Growth
No organization can serve their community without a being internally strong. That is why the WEDC board decided to make capital and organizational growth a priority. The board plans to apply for grants, work with the Wall City Council and create a long-term funding solution for the organization. The board’s goal is to create a $100,000 balance sheet by the end of fiscal year 2019.
The WEDC board also wants the Wall Economic Development brand to be recognized throughout the community and region. WEDC is currently working on creating a logo design. WEDC will also be updating the website and developing marketing materials such as brochures and flyers.
By 2020, WEDC plans to have a community marketing campaign that will market Wall as a great place to call home. Wall has fantastic advertising for visitors, a lack of advertising for Wall as a great place to live year-round. WEDC hopes to share this message by creating an updated community video, billboards and an active social media campaign.
Priority #2 – Housing
Housing, housing, housing – Wall needs need seasonal housing, rental housing, starter homes, town homes, and high-end homes. A lack of housing availability in Wall is a significant deterrent to community and business growth.
WEDC will dedicate a significant amount of time and funds toward housing. The WEDC board will continue to implement housing study recommendations by working with developers, landowners and the City Council. WEDC will continue to maintain an updated online listing of available homes for sale and hold workshops on home buying.
Priority #3 – Business Retention, Business Expansion and Business Creation
Our community is built on small business and entrepreneurship. If you’re looking to expand your business, sell your business, start your dream business or buy an existing business, WEDC wants to help. WEDC will continue to hold business retention and expansion visits once per year to learn more about how WEDC can help your business. WEDC is planning several business education classes for the coming year. Wall hosts free business-coaching classes with the Small Business Development Center the third Monday of every month in the community center.
WEDC is planning a business leadership development course for February/March 2018. Look for flyers around the community or contact WEDC for more information.
Without workforce, businesses cannot start or expand. WEDC is lucky to have a great partnership with the Wall School District to help build Wall’s future workforce. WEDC, in partnership with the Badlands Bad River Regional Economic Development Partnership and the Wall School District, plans to hold a “Career Expo” at the Wall school on March 29th. In May, the Wall School will host a “Bring Your A Game to Work” training in partnership with the Career Learning Center. This training exposes students to “critical skills,” such as attitude, attendance, appearance, ambition, accountability, acceptance and appreciation to prepare them for the workforce. WEDC also worked with the Wall School to launch the second year of the school-to-work program. This program has allowed students to connect with and explore Wall’s many career options. WEDC and the Wall School plan to continue and expand the school-to-work program into the future.
WEDC is also looking into financial options to help businesses grow. For example, the board has started discussing creating a revolving loan fund to help provide start-up or gap financing for new or expanding businesses. The board has not made a final decision on this option, but will continue discussion into 2018.
Priority #4 – Placemaking
What is placemaking? According to the ever-updated webpage Wikipedia, “Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well being.”
Basically, placemaking means making a place a great place to live, work, recreate and raise a family. The job market is changing. People can work from almost anywhere thanks to today’s technology, meaning quality of life is taking a bigger role in the decision making process for families. Wall needs to have activities, recreation, health and wellness opportunities and great quality of life to attract families.
WEDC has started the placemaking process by completing the Wall Archery Range. WEDC plans to work with the archery planning team to improve the archery range and have several archery events throughout spring, summer and fall 2018.
The Wall Field of Films drive-in movie theatre was a fantastic addition to the community in 2017. WEDC realizes that the community needs entertainment options and is dedicated to ensuring the existence of the Wall Field of Films beyond September 2018.
One of WEDC’s most lofty goals is to develop a community event center. In 2018, under the leadership of Board President and Mayor Marty Huether, WEDC plans to explore the feasibility of an event center. If you are interested in this effort, please contact Marty Huether.
WEDC also plans to continue its partnership with the Wall-Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce to bring Wall in the Fall, Wall Crawl and Home for the Holidays to the community.
Priority #5 – Business Attraction
Wall’s current businesses are the backbone and heart of the community. However, WEDC is also interested in bringing more business opportunities to Wall, specifically value-added agriculture. WEDC will work with the local FFA marketing team to find a potential market for value-added agriculture products. WEDC also plans to continue conversation with local investors, producers and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture to determine business opportunities.
When potential businesses are looking to move into communities, they often want to know how the community can help – primarily through tax incentives. Wall and Pennington County do not currently have tax incentives to promote business growth. WEDC has presented tax incentive options to both the City of Wall and Pennington County in hope that both organizations will make progressive decisions in 2018.
WEDC also realizes the importance of recruiting home-based entrepreneurs and workers to the Wall area. Golden West is currently working on a fiber-to-home project. This opportunity sets Wall apart, giving the Wall area and surrounding rural communities faster and more reliable broadband service than a large city. This will allow Wall to recruit more primary and secondary jobs. It also provides opportunities telecommuters looking to move to Wall. WEDC plans to gather current Wall residents who telecommute as well as representatives from Golden West to create and partner on marketing plans.
Ready for 2018 and Beyond!
WEDC is excited and ready for the future. The board looks forward to working alongside the community to create a bright future for Wall!
As always, thank you for being such a great community. It is because of you we have it all in Wall!
WEDC Executive Director