2018 ANNUAL REPORT


While separate entities, the Ames Chamber of Commerce and the Ames Economic Development Commission share staff and other resources as they work towards a common goal: providing a unified approach to strengthening and promoting business and community and to support our members and investors.

Vision 2022 is a strategic plan developed to guide both organizations forward over the coming years. Vision 2022 builds on the progress made in recent years to grow and expand the Ames and Story County business community, while committing to address identified challenges.

With support from its affiliate organizations, the Chamber and AEDC will continue to focus on leading economic development and growth, driving improvements in housing availability and affordability, influencing public policy to meet the area’s needs, and raising the profile of both organizations.

Vision 2022 consists of four elements that work in unison to build the organizations’ vision for the future.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Creating jobs and a strong workforce that supports growth and innovation in Ames and Story County.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Creating an environment that attracts, engages, and supports residents of all ages and backgrounds.

ADVOCACY

Ensuring a voice at the table for Ames and Story County businesses and residents that promotes healthy development and improves quality of place.

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ensuring strong organizations now and in the future.

While separate entities, the Ames Chamber of Commerce and the Ames Economic Development Commission share staff and other resources as they work towards a common goal: providing a unified approach to strengthening and promoting business and community and to support our members and investors.

Vision 2022 is a strategic plan developed to guide both organizations forward over the coming years. Vision 2022 builds on the progress made in recent years to grow and expand the Ames and Story County business community, while committing to address identified challenges.

With support from its affiliate organizations, the Chamber and AEDC will continue to focus on leading economic development and growth, driving improvements in housing availability and affordability, influencing public policy to meet the area’s needs, and raising the profile of both organizations.

Vision 2022 consists of four elements that work in unison to build the organizations’ vision for the future.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Creating jobs and a strong workforce that supports growth and innovation in Ames and Story County.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Creating an environment that attracts, engages, and supports residents of all ages and backgrounds.

ADVOCACY

Ensuring a voice at the table for Ames and Story County businesses and residents that promotes healthy development and improves quality of place.

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ensuring strong organizations now and in the future.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Creating jobs and a strong workforce that supports growth and innovation in Ames and Story County.

200
dollars in pledged capital investment
11
project wins
350
jobs created
1,700,000
dollar grant secured from US EDA*

Representatives from Burke Corporation and Hormel break ground on their $150 million expansion in Nevada

* $1.7M grant secured from United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist in the infrastructure expansion of the Iowa State University Research Park, which supported the location of the John Deere Innovation Center moving forward

Projects in Ames, Story City, Huxley and Nevada highlight the year including SmartAg, automed, 3M, MH Eby Trailers, Burke Corporation, Mid-States Material/ Mid-States Manufacturing, Verbio, John Deere, Kent Corporation, Collins Aerospace and Innovative Technologies

Startup Ames became an affiliate organization of the Ames Chamber of Commerce in April

COUNTYWIDE JOB BOARD

107,702
searches on workinames.com

WorkInAmes.com was rebranded for use in national and regional marketing campaigns including MyIOWAFuture.com, and The Iowan Project

745
registered job seekers

INCREASING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND ENHANCING THE AVAILABILITY OF TALENT

465 interns from 23 companies participated in the See Yourself in Ames sumer internship events

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Creating an environment that attracts, engages, and supports residents of all ages and backgrounds.

CAMPUSTOWN ACTION ASSOCIATION

193 volunteer hours spent cleaning up as part of the Make Campustown Shine program

new light pole banners installed along Lincoln Way and Welch Avenue providing a greater sense of place to the Campustown District

attendees enjoyed family friendly activities at Summerfest in Campustown on June 2, 2018

THE AMES FOUNDATION

581,000
in donations received for the construction of the Ames Miracle Field and Park
800
trees planted by TAF volunteers
18,000
plus, raised at the 2018 Annual Event for ongoing community betterment

Volunteers from The Ames Foundation help beautify entryways to welcome visitors to Ames

AMES MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET

156 attendees at the 1st Annual Farm to Table Dinner (it was sold out!)

vendors will be transitioning to brick and mortar stores on Main Street, bringing the total to 8 vendors that have transitioned from vendors into storefronts!

children entered 1st Kid’s Bake Off

Awarded “Exceptional Event” in Iowa by the Main Street Iowa Association.

Named “Best Local Event in Story County” for the third year.

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS OF AMES

689
books donated to children in the Ames School District through Read With Me

Began rebranding process to be unveiled in 2019

More than 70 volunteers from Young Professionals of Ames volunteered for the Ames Fireworks on July 3

AMES MAIN STREET

10
dollars in private investment to AMS in 9 years
30,000
estimated visitors to downtown Ames in conjunction with AMS events
2,000
volunteer hours for Main Street projects and events

Downtown District listed on the National Register of Historic Places opening up state and federal tax credits to property owners.

EXPANDING THE RETAIL, ENTERTAINMENT, AND RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES IN AMES AND STORY COUNTY

Thousands of people packed Main Street during Ames RAGBRAI festivities

ADVOCACY

Ensuring a voice at the table for Ames and Story County businesses and residents that promotes healthy development and improves quality of place.

550
attendees at 11 local,
state, and federal policy based events
61.55
statewide voter turnout
(8% higher than 2014 Midterm Election)
61.8
Story County voter turnout (10% higher than 2014 Midterm Election)

Advocated on behalf of Chamber members including:

  • Passage of the 2018 state income tax reform, while avoiding significant
    changes to our economic development tax credits and tax increment financing
  • Passage of the water quality bill and ongoing advocacy efforts to continue to
    improve water quality and quality of life throughout Iowa
  • Supported the continuation of the property tax backfill, which would impact
    nearly $3 million in local revenue.

Assisted in turning out a record number of voters for the 2018 General Election.

FEDERAL PRIORITIES TRIP TO WASHINGTON, DC

The Ames Chamber of Commerce Washington, D.C. Trip was a tremendous success:

  • Record number of participants in this year’s Fly-In that included several new DC-based staff members and events
  • First ever policy breakfast was held, featuring Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Plans for 2019 include expanding the offerings to broaden the impact during this two-day visit to Washington, D.C.

Ames delegation meets with U.S. Under Secretary, and former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey

A SYMPOSIUM ON BUILDING INCLUSIVE ORGANIZATIONS

Keynote speaker Joe Gerstandt addressing the audience at the inaugural symposium

200
people attended the inaugural Symposium on Building Inclusive Organizations on October 31

Unique partnership with City of Ames, Iowa State University and Ames Chamber of Commerece provided providing practical strategies towards building more inclusive workplaces.

3RD ANNUAL INTER-CITY VISIT

30
community leaders visited Bloomington, Indiana and met with local leaders to learn successes and opportunities in areas of housing, downtown amenities, local partnerships, quality of life and what Bloomington is doing to cultivate a startup/ entrepreneurial culture

PARTNERING WITH THE CITY OF AMES, STORY COUNTY AND OTHER KEY STAKEHOLDERS TO FOSTER AND SUSTAIN POSITIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH

We are pleased to provide economic development services to the communities under 2000 in population for the Story County Board of Supervisors

2018 • Challenges & Opportunities • Community Venture Network In Fill Lot Development • New Housing Subdivisions • Housing Rehabilitation • Commercial Development • Planning • Small Business Support • Roland Economic Development • Colo Economic Development • Façade Improvements • Community Development • Industrial Development • Marketing Support • Funding Ideas • Technical Support • Infrastructure Discussions • Slater • Kelly • Cambridge • Maxwell • Collins • Colo • Zearing • McCallsburg • Roland • Gilbert

ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ensuring strong organizations now and in the future.

676,000
invested in the Ames Economic Development Commission from 85 investors
621
Chamber Members

#STORYGROWS

Governor Kim Reynolds with 3M Plant Manager Jeff Biehn and members of the Story County Board of Supervisors on National Manufacturing Day in October celebrating 3M’s announcment of their $27.8 million expansion

Engaged the entire Story County community with a new hashtag #StoryGrows and videos highlighting the importance of economic development

406
tweets using #StoryGrows since its launch in May in honor of National Economic Development Week

ENGAGING AND CELEBRATING CHAMBER MEMBERS

Created numerous opportunities for members to get to know each other and build relationships, while celebrating member successes and growth

3,651
attendees at events with registration
131
events with registration
65
ribbon cuttings celebrating new members, remodels, and anniversaries
11
Business After Hours events averaging 200 attendees

Most popular events include:

  • A Symposium on Building Inclusive Organizations
  • “Ames in Full Color” Annual Event
  • Economic Outlook Breakfast
  • Leadercast
  • Steak Fry

#SMARTCHOICE

Increased digital presence by adding Instagram, Legislative Update
weekly videos, and Facebook Live events

2,563,792
business referrals through AmesChamber.com
2,713
average referral per member

Top searched categories include

  • Restaurants
  • Non-Profits
  • Construction & General Contractors
  • Grocery Stores
  • Retail

Valued Programs and Services 108 members participated in the 2018 Chamber member survey. We listened, and 2019 will feature increased programming to meet the current needs of our members, particularly in workforce development, connecting members to build relationships and marketing for small businesses.

GROWING TO SERVE STORY COUNTY

Earlier this year we entered into a contract to provide economic development services for Nevada.

This has already proven to be a successful venture, with several exciting announcements being made including Mid-States Companies expansion, Verbio purchasing the DuPont plant, and a major expansion from Burke/Hormel.

Members of Ames Main Street attend a ribbon cutting celebrating the organization’s rebranding