Much of our organization's work is spent strengthening the local Grinnell community right here in our five square miles. But did you know that we also work with other communities in the Central Iowa region? Our Chamber of Commerce is a regional affiliate of the Greater Des Moines Parternship (GDMP), which is a regional chamber located in Des Moines. We work with the Partnership and their 23 affiliate chambers of commerce to work toward a common goal of strengthening central Iowa as a great place to do business and raise families.
A couple weeks ago, I attended the Greater Des Moines Partnership's Annual Des Moines to DC fly-in event, along with a couple others from our community. While many of GDMP's members are located in metro areas and are advocating heavily for their communities, we take the time to advocate on behalf of Grinnell and rural communities. After all, if we aren't the ones out telling our story and asking for support, who will? With so much of rural Iowa beginning to see economic downturns, many federal programs are instrumental for continued economic development in rural places. While in D.C. we advocated for rural set asides for various programs including broadband opportunities, historic tax credits, affordable housing and more. We also encouraged the GDMP to add language for rural set asides, where appropriate, into their federal policy agenda.
Not only did we have the chance to talk with our elected delegation and their staffs about a number of these issues which are critical to the continued growth and vibrancy of Grinnell, but we were able to network with nearly 200 business and industry leaders from the Central Iowa region. We were encouraged by the support and encouragement from our peers, and are excited to work with them in a variety of ways in the coming months as we continue to strengthen many newfound relationships.
As your chamber of commerce, we spend much of our time collaborating with others. Not only in our community, but within our region and across the nation, making Grinnell and Central Iowa an amazing place to live, learn, work and play.