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Chair's Column: Setting the Stage for a Strong 2021

Continuing Successes in DSM

December 23, 2020

As we bring this year to a close, I am again reminded of all we have accomplished in 2020 as a Greater Des Moines (DSM) region working together with one voice. When the world changed beyond what we would have ever guessed entering the year, we responded. We accepted reality, pivoted and served our community’s immediate needs while continuing to set ourselves up for long-term success.

We once again demonstrated that by working as one, we can accomplish so much.

Here are a few of the things that we accomplished during a most challenging year.

  • We quickly put together a short-term plan for the organization to help keep businesses in business, keep people working and keep the community healthy.
  • Among our efforts to keep businesses in business, we worked with regional partners to help 292 small businesses gain access to $1.7 million in awards through the Small Business Recovery Grant, and help 65 restaurants obtain heaters through the Extend the Season Grant.
  • We continued our ongoing work to ensure DSM is a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. More than 200 people signed the CEO Commitment to Racial Equity in DSM, and more than 1,000 people attended the virtual Inclusion Summit.
  • We continued to move the needle on game-changing projects including the Central Iowa Water Trails, Lauridsen Skatepark, USL Pro Iowa Soccer Stadium, the Firehouse Community Campus, the Des Moines International Airport Terminal project and more.

We did this all, and so much more, because we worked together as one region with one voice. We worked across jurisdictional lines, with strong leadership and effective public/private partnerships. We invested in our community. These are the elements that have led to our success before the pandemic, and these same elements will ensure a successful recovery.

Next month, we will celebrate our 2020 accomplishments at the DSM 202ONE Annual Kickoff. Normally, this event draws 1,000+ people in attendance to network, celebrate the previous year and look forward to the upcoming year. Like so many things, it will look different in 2021, but that does not make it any less important.

We have the opportunity to come together virtually and set the stage for a strong 2021. We know there is still uncertainty given the pandemic heading into the new year, but the long-term future of our region is bright. We have every opportunity to make it even brighter.

I hope to see you on the morning of Thursday, January 14. Please join me in ensuring we get this crucial year started right.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Tom Mahoney

Tom Mahoney served as the Greater Des Moines Partnership's 2020 board chair and is chairman of the board at ITA Group Holdings.