Economic development efforts must adapt to the changing market conditions.
That's the idea behind a new strategic plan adopted recently by the Minot Area Development Corporation.
MADC's new plan calls for focusing on business retention and support, and for targeting value added agriculture, energy, and distribution businesses for location in the Minot area.
One of the key areas of potential growth is the ag park located north of the Port of North Dakota and the AGT Foods facility.
MADC has used MAGIC Fund money in the past few years to prepare hundreds of acres of land to attract new value added ag businesses.
(Stephanie Hoffart, MADC President) "We've used that funding for preparing the land and also for rail. BNSF will be putting in a switch for us in the first part of spring next year and then we'll be gearing really hard into filling those places. We wanted to make sure the infrastructure was there."
Hoffart says about 150 acres of the ag park are now ready to accept new businesses related to ag or energy.
Meanwhile she says MADC is expecting to be needing to use some of the eight million dollars that has built up in the MAGIC Fund over the past few years now that we're in a down cycle in both energy and ag.
It's much different than a few years ago when the city's energy park was filling up with businesses.
(Stephanie Hoffart, MADC President) "Those energy companies had money and there was no reason to incentivise them to come here, but we had space available for them and it had city services ready for them to build. But now with the ag economy being down a bit we want to be able to incentivise some of those businesses to come and pick Minot instead of any other location."
Along with its new strategic plan, MADC has launched a new website designed to be more friendly to mobile and tablet devices and offer better information about the city and the MADC's abilities to help bring new business to the area.
The website address is MinotUSA.com.