The Best of Iowa and Carroll County: Business Insights from Hundreds of Interviews

6 Apr 2019


Each year, organizations throughout the Iowa, including the Carroll Area Development Corporation, meet with local businesses to learn about industry trends, opportunities, challenges and issues impacting their businesses. These one-on-one meetings provide deep insights into pressing business issues and help us to create solutions for solving them.

In 2018, over 726 businesses were interviewed across Iowa, including 24 businesses located in Carroll County. Here is what they had to say:

  • More than half of the companies have plans to expand over the next three years
  • 41.6% of the companies with plans to expand over the next three years stated there is no room for expansion at their current location. Carroll County has room for growth!

These potential expansion projects represent $332 million dollars in investments and 1,187 jobs across the state.

Nearly 62.0% of the companies interviewed stated their primary product/service was growing and another 5.8% stated they have an emerging primary product/service. These companies represent 79,728 jobs.

The vast majority of these companies have introduced a new product/service in the last five years and plan on introducing a new product/service in the next two years. 228 companies invested between one to six percent of their sales on research and development.

Fast Facts About Carroll County Businesses

During 2018 interviews, businesses reported the following:

  • 79% of businesses experienced an increase in sales
  • 62% increased their percentage of market share
  • 79% had launched a new product within the last five years

Carroll County Location, Global Reach

The majority of businesses interviewed have operations and/or customers outside of Carroll County. Their success demonstrates that Carroll County is a viable home for regional, national and international companies.

From here, at least ten companies are conducting research and development, in addition to regular business operations. For example, a local food manufacturer is supporting R&D efforts and a Carroll County lab is investing in additional R&D equipment. Investments made into R&D can have a significant impact on future sales, as was demonstrated by the majority of businesses reporting that they had both launched a new product and experienced an increase in total sales revenue.

Expanding in Carroll County

Over half the businesses we met with are planning an expansion. This represents an additional $29-million investment into Carroll County, the creation of 65 new jobs and the building of an additional 5,000-square-feet of real estate, at least. The industries planning to expand are:

  • Consumer goods manufacturing
  • Industrial manufacturing
  • Communications
  • Business services
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Agriculture

Room for Growth in Carroll County

Carroll County is home to a diverse mix of business industries. Though known for our Iowa cornfields, many of the businesses located here are not in the agricultural industry. Our growing businesses are manufacturing products used throughout the country and purchased at the grocery store. Carroll County businesses are providing much-needed healthcare services, communications and business tools and so much more. In Carroll County, our economic diversity is our strength – one that enables us to attract all types of businesses and talent to our area.

Plus, there is plenty of room for growth here. Businesses planning an expansion can easily find a commercial property or land to build on. Our attractive real estate offerings is helping to attract businesses to our county.

Individual Support and Innovative Solutions

The Carroll Area Development Corporation is a go-to resource for Carroll County businesses and those wishing to move here. We appreciate the opportunity to meet with local executives and are willing to provide one-on-one support to any businesses that is looking to grow or locate here.
In 2019, one area we are focused on is workforce attraction – something that was identified as a need when meeting with local companies. Addressing workforce challenges is one of the many ways that we work to actively support industry in Carroll County. Businesses who wish to discuss this initiative, explore a recent opportunity or would like information about moving to Carroll County, are invited to contact us for information, help and support.