UNI impacts Iowa’s economy
The University of Northern Iowa’s impact on the businesses and communities in Iowa was substantial in 2020, including assistance provided to local economic development groups to 3D printing assistance to small foundries in Iowa to helping Iowa businesses through business transition and succession.
While the pandemic caused a pivot away from many in-person interactions with UNI’s Business and Community Services (BCS) clients, the total number of clients remained relatively stable this past year thanks to online technology and their flexibility to shift programming quickly. For 21 consecutive years, UNI’s BCS programs have had active economic development projects in all 99 Iowa counties and in 2020, had a record number of UNI students engaged in outreach programs.
The assistance provided to the Iowa Economic Development Authority through two statewide COVID-19 business impact surveys was used to determine the best use of state business relief resources. Nearly 23,000 responses were received through the two separate surveys and dozens of reports were prepared for state and regional entities, including a report outlining the COVID impact on Iowa’s rural businesses for the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa initiative and the Rural Development Council.
BCS programs also assisted with response and recovery through many tailored services to businesses and communities. “It has been a challenging year for Iowa business,” said BCS Executive Director Randy Pilkington. “But BCS programs were able to quickly pivot their client services to address the new challenges faced by businesses as they addressed the new reality of doing business during this pandemic.”
UNI’s economic development efforts remain a solid investment for state resources and leverage $5 for each state dollar invested.
To learn more about BCS and the resources available to the economic community, visit www.bcs.uni.edu.