As we face the uncertainty of a global pandemic, we have been prompted to make unprecedented but necessary changes to our daily routines. Everyone must do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and changes to community and business activities. North Dakota and western Minnesota will rise to the challenge.

    Our elected leaders and public servants should be commended for taking smart, measured steps to assist citizens with the information and tools to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread, while also working to protect businesses and essential services. We applaud our health care providers who are caring for the sick, educating the public, and taking steps to anticipate future needs. We are especially grateful to workers who continue their jobs on-site. Communities across the state are banding together, whether through windows filled with hearts, teachers parading through town, or efforts to support the elderly and populations of greatest need. North Dakotans and western Minnesotans are rising and shining.

    Before coronavirus struck, our region was blessed with low unemployment, safe communities, new business investment, and growing research and development – all of which have created a level of prosperity for the Valley region.   

     Now, even though business may temporarily slow and many workers face unemployment, we believe North Dakota and western Minnesota are well-positioned to recover from the economic adversity ahead – in large part because of our hard-working employees. It is their work ethic, dedication to career, and creative thinking that will allow North Dakota and western Minnesota businesses to stay connected, continue moving essential products and services, and tackle important problems. We will continue efforts to further diversify our economy, increase our productivity, and expand our assets. North Dakota and western Minnesota will raise the bar.  

    While it may not be “business as usual” for the foreseeable future, we know we are resilient and resourceful people through times of challenge and uncertainty. It’s our spirit of innovation and commitment to community that will bring us through this challenging time.

    Now is a time for us to look to the future and find ways to work together to achieve the common goals to which we aspire.

    We are confident; North Dakota and western Minnesota will rise up stronger.
Executive Committee of the Valley Prosperity Partnership:

Marshal Albright, Co-Chair and President & CEO, Cass County Electric Cooperative
Steve Burian, Co-Chair and President and CEO, Burian & Associates
Judd Graham, Vice Co-Chair and CEO, Fargo Region, Bremer Bank
Brian Johnson, Vice-Co-Chair and CEO, Choice Financial Group
Keith Lund, Director and President & CEO Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp
Joe Raso, Director and President & CEO Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp

    The Valley Prosperity Partnership is a private sector led initiative, joined by higher education and economic development partners, that is focused on creating high value and sustained economic growth for the Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota and throughout the state of North Dakota. http://www.valleyprosperitypartnership.com/