Once reliant primarily on the tractor industry, Charles City today has grown and diversified into so much more in terms of business and industry. The economic development climate and workforce availability in America's Hometown is so favorable at present, that motor home giant Winnebago Industries, Inc. recently decided to build not one plant here, but two.
The community has made a strong commitment to being pro-business and making economic development a priority. Numerous state and local incentives have been put in place, including tax increment financing, enterprise zones and revolving loan funding, all aimed at both industrial recruitment and keeping our existing industries strong. Three of Charles City's largest employers Ð Fort Dodge Animal Health, Salsbury Chemicals Inc. and All-States Quality Foods Ð in the last year or two have either announced, completed or are currently working on major expansion projects. Charles City's business and industrial base currently boasts of at least seven different employers outside of government and school who have workforces of over 100 people each. Industrial products produced in Charles City include veterinary pharmaceuticals, motor homes and motor home components, chicken meat products, industrial chemicals and intermediates, fasteners, ladders and nursery stock.
Charles City offers three different industrial development parks, with the latest one strategically situated close to the new Avenue of the Saints highway. Local economic development officials and private investors teamed up to build first one and then two 50,000-square foot speculative buildings in the Southwest Development Park, which in turn greatly helped in attracting Winnebago Industries, Inc. to the area. The banking industry also believes in Charles City, as evident by the presence of no less than four local banks and a credit union. Time and time again those financial institutions have demonstrated a willingness to work with new development ventures and to help support their community. Retail-wise, Charles City is a regional draw with three competitive grocery stores and a base that included 355 retail businesses in 1999. Retail sales in 1999 amounted to $98.71 million or $13,125 per capita, which is 124 percent of the state average. Whatever your shopping needs, America's Hometown is ready for you!
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