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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Use Your Wits

A lady takes her tiny little pet Chihuahua named Sammy with her on an African safari (hidden away in her purse). The dog gets very uncomfortable on the long hot bus ride and escapes the purse. As he leaves, the bus pulls off leaving him alone, lost in the dangerous African bush.

It didn’t take five minutes before Sammy encounters a very hungry leopard. Sammy is pretty sharp and realizes he’s in deep trouble, but, noticing some fresh bones on the ground, he settles down to chew on them, with his back to the big cat. As the leopard is about to leap, Sammy smacks his lips and exclaims loudly, “Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here, I’m still sooo hungry.” The leopard stops mid-stride, and slinks away into the trees. “Phew,” says the leopard, “that was close – that evil little dog nearly had me.”

A monkey nearby sees everything and thinks he’ll win a favor by explaining to the leopard that he had been fooled. The Chihuahua sees the monkey follow the leopard, and guesses he might be up to no good. When the leopard hears the monkey’s story he rages with anger at the thought of being duped, and offers the monkey a ride back to see him exact his revenge.

Sammy sees them approaching and fears the worse. Again using his wits and thinking on his feet, Sammy turns his back, pretending not to notice them, and when the pair are within earshot says aloud, “Now where on earth could that monkey be? I sent him ages ago to bring me another leopard…”

Sammy’s funny tale in the bush reminds us that while our economy can appear mysterious and dangerous like the African wilderness, in reality, if we keep and use our wits, we can survive (and eventually thrive).

It has been a year since I began in the position as Tama County’s Economic Development Director and after visiting all corners of the County and meeting with many of the residents I am convinced that our biggest obstacle to success still remains one thing … ourselves.

While we have some amazing people doing some incredible things, more people of Tama County need to become involved. I believe that if you live here, you (by default) are automatically involved. Contact our office (641) 484-3108 or info@tamacountyiowa.org and we can provide more information on how YOU can start helping to grow Tama County’s economy.

As in most circumstances we all have choices; we can continue leaving it to someone else (Des Moines or Washington) or we can take positive action to pursue our data driven strategy that can help fix our own economy. And remember, if a Chihuahua can use his wits to survive in the African bush surely together we are all cunning enough to grow an economy ;)


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