MASON CITY — Despite dealing with the aftermath of one year of the pandemic, civic leaders say Cerro Gordo County is in a good position for the future. The second annual “State of North Iowa” event discussing the “Vision North Iowa” partnership was held at the Mason City Chamber of Commerce offices on Wednesday afternoon.
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation CEO Chad Schreck says despite all the challenges there was positive growth in the region. “While we do have some mixed data on our economic data, we have worked together incredibly well. Our partners have come together, we’ve kept things going. We’ve kept our businesses open and successful, and we’re really, really proud of that. On our side, we continue to see positive growth and development. We’re going to see some really cool things over at the Courtway development near the hotel very soon. We’ve got some great opportunities in the Mason City industrial park right now as well, and we look forward to bringing those to fruition over the coming year.”
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce president Stacy Doughan says while the pandemic is not behind us, the confidence is there that north-central Iowa will recover economically. “We will build a better north Iowa, and as we look ahead, we remain committed to connecting businesses with the resources they need to recover. We’ll also continue to champion the shop, dine, and support local messaging, building on the foundation we laid in 2020. Together we’ll rebuild, recover and be stronger in 2021.”
Mason City’s city administrator Aaron Burnett says the area has persevered through the pandemic. “We’ve seen continued investment, we’ve seen continued construction. You can go from anywhere from NIACC to Clear Lake and see investment all throughout our county, and it’s because of the momentum that we had going into the pandemic, and it’s also momentum that we’re carrying through the pandemic. The valuations are increasing, the new construction is increasing, but we’re seeing investment even after COVID. We’re seeing that investment grow even into 2021, which means that it’s just not investment that was planned going into COVID, but investment that’s planned in the momentum and the belief that north Iowa will carry through and will come out the other side of the pandemic just as strong as it went in.”
You can listen back to Wednesday’s full “State of North Iowa” presentation via the audio player below.