September 19, 2023
AED received a 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The award was bestowed specifically for the organization’s work in the Program Award, Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Initiatives category that impacted 200,000 – 500,000 residents. AED’s Adam Henry was acknowledged and honored at the IEDC 2023 Annual Conference during the inaugural Recognition Night event in Dallas, TX, on Sept. 19.
Following two years of virtual engagement with businesses during COVID-19, AED aimed to connect companies with valuable resource partners via BRE visits during Business Appreciation Month. While AED regularly conducts BRE visits, the program took this routine task to another level via several innovations.
The concept condensed a larger number of BRE visits into a limited period, in this case, 40 visits over two weeks, thus increasing the prominence and creating a hook for companies to participate. Another key innovation was including 30 community ambassadors on the visits, complementing AED staff and allowing companies to connect with resources directly. The combination provided immense value to the companies, which learned about workforce programs, financial incentives, community initiatives, and AED services. As a result of the visits and ensuing engagement, AED supported four company expansions, totaling 60,000 SF of new office space and 350 new jobs.
“AED raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Arlington Business Appreciation Month Coordinated Visits program. This award is a testament to AED’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC President and CEO. “It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present AED with this award and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development!”
Every year, IEDC looks specifically for economic development organizations, government entities, initiatives, and programs that have demonstrated consistent, exemplary performance in the economic development profession, leading the execution of projects that have a significant impact on revitalizing communities and playing a major role in shaping and improving the practice of economic development.