Dubuque economy, business leaders come together to reject proposal to downgrade county to micropolitan area

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) – Members of Dubuque’s leading business and economy organizations said downgrading the county from a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) area to a micropolitan area would “wipe it off the map.”

That is why they are coming together to send a strong and consistent message to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asking it to reject the proposal. That proposal states that MSAs should have a population of 100,000. The current threshold is 50,000.

“This is a decision that is based solely on data and the committee acknowledges that they do not consider economic development or financial impact,” Molly Grover, CEO of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, said. “There are so many questions surrounding this.”

Grover mentioned her team and public and private partners have already provided the OMB with their concerns regarding the proposal. She said they have also sent alerts to business owners in the area.

“We make it very easy in the action alert,” she commented. “They go to the link, we provide background on the information to make sure that they are informed, and they can provide comments to the OMB as well.”

County leaders have also asked for Congresswoman Ashley Hinson’s help at the federal level. Hinson, along with 17 other members of Congress, sent a letter to the OMB expressing her disapproval of the measure.

“Unfortunately what you have is Washington bureaucrats who have never stepped foot in a city like Dubuque making decisions that could have major economic impacts,” Congresswoman Hinson said. “The next step is continuing to point out what can be harmed here: the economic development opportunities can go away, businesses might be looking at a city like Dubuque to actually set up their business and grow and expand, provide opportunities.”

If the OMB were to move forward with the proposal, 144 cities and areas across the country would be downgraded to micropolitan areas.

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