EDWC is not your typical economic development organization. Don’t get us wrong. We started out that way. But we took a hard look at the work we did for our Washington County, Wisconsin municipalities and decided there was a better way to deliver maximum value to every municipality. Here’s how we do economic development differently and why it works.
A little over a year ago, our business model meant that municipalities would contribute to EDWC as a donating organization at whatever amount they felt comfortable. Then, if they saw a need and reached out to us for assistance or maybe we reached out to a municipality to let them know of something we could do to better position them for success, we would simply “be there.” Essentially, as needed, a service would be rendered with no direct tie to the contribution or value we created on their behalf. It was a contributor model common to many economic development organizations.
Making the Shift to a New Way of Delivering Economic Development Value
We shifted away from that model towards a three-tiered subscription approach. Here’s how it works; each growth platform tier is allotted a number of credits, with price point and credit amounts increasing at each tier. The higher the tier, the more credits and higher value available to the municipality. These credits can be “spent” on a range of services.
Municipalities can use their credits for deliverables under:
- Consulting, including recruitment, retention, deal structuring, incentive pro-forma and proposals, and more.
- Workforce Analytics, such as target recruitment and retention mapping and our proprietary Workforce 20/20 workforce retention service.
- Positioning / Decision Support with value-adds like community comparison mapping and reports.
- Organizational & Strategic Development, from inception to design to implementation.
- Incentive Loan Program, including program design and application intake, underwriting, loan review and structuring, closing and servicing.
- Traditional Economic Development
Why This Approach to Economic Development Works
The beauty of this system is its adaptability. Municipalities can ramp up or down annually as needed in their use of our services. They are maximizing the value they can realize through EDWC by maximizing the credits they have available to them. In this way, they are truly getting what they pay for.
This model has also dramatically increased our municipalities understanding of the full range of what EDWC can provide. A common refrain has become “I didn’t know you could do that for us!” Our new way of providing economic development consulting and services has allowed municipalities to connect the dollars they spend to the value they receive. We have seen an increased understanding of how their EDWC dollar is generating tangible benefits for them and their constituents.
Doing economic development differently has fiscal benefits as well. We are able to provide our services at a significant discount from the retail rate. First, the subscription model allows us to pre-plan resources, which is much cheaper than building resources for surprise projects. These are savings we can pass along. EDWC is also able to aggregate the demand for our services across our subscribing municipalities. This enables us to provide services, like data analytics subscriptions at a lower cost than if we were obligated to charge each municipality separately.
A Win/Win Economic Development Delivery Model
Making this shift and re-thinking how to “do” economic development for our municipalities has been a win/win. The municipalities are realizing savings as well as leveraging more of what EDWC can provide for them. They are reaping real results from maximizing the value we can deliver. For us, it’s been rewarding to work in closer partnership with our municipalities to understand what they need and make sure they are getting the greatest bang for their subscription buck.
Learn more about the range of services EDWC provides to not only municipalities, but business owners ready to grow or start businesses in Washington County, Wisconsin.
NEXT! Real-world examples of Washington County municipalities have leveraged EDWC services to reap economic development results.