This week marks National Economic Development Week. It is a time for us to reflect and recognize the work that has taken place in building our communities.


Ara Topouzian, President/CEO of Troy Chamber of Commerce

Economic development is a term that really describes an action. The term is sometimes narrowly defined or has a stereotype of only belonging to a public sector job… I should know, I have held such a position in the past. However, I think this is too narrow of a definition for such a larger-than-life terminology. Whether you’re working in the public or private sector, if you are working for the betterment of your community – you are doing economic development.

Nonprofit association’s from around the globe with the mission of helping others do so for the increased wealth of the collective community.  Fortune 500 corporations hiring hundreds of worker are performing economic development. The term is certainly more broad that what it is perceived.

I am an Economic Developer and have worked it on both ends – public and private sector. I view my current role as working within the chamber of commerce as a continuation of the work I have done in the past. Although I am not performing economic development where I would be seeking incentives for companies to locate in my community, I am a conduit for these companies to access other businesses and create those opportunities for increased commerce in my community.  Giving these companies those opportunities will hopefully lead to increased sales and increased jobs, creating a full economic circle.

Troy Chamber and City of Troy welcoming a new business to the community.

Troy Chamber and City of Troy welcoming a new business to the community.

Cities and chambers together create a strong economic development partnership. The expertise we bring together compliments each others efforts. I feel, (albeit I am a bit biased towards the good work we have done in Troy!) this is the strongest type of partnership that creates a successful community.

Use the following hashtag on Twitter to learn more about what other communities are doing in recognition of National Economic Development Week #EconDevWeek.