Budgeting for fiscal year 2025 is underway and includes requests to support economic development actions and goals such as completing an affordable housing study and providing matching grants to local governments.

Sarah Thompson is working with the agritourism group and a local communications firm to develop a logo and branding for agritourism.

Two local broadband providers received grants to build out broadband in unserved/underserved areas of the county. For more information, access Broadband.


County Economic Development Plan

Click here to access the 2022 Johnson County, Iowa, Economic Development Plan: Opportunities for the Unincorporated Area, Villages and Smaller Towns

The 2022 Johnson County, Iowa, Economic Development Plan: Opportunities for the Unincorporated Area, Villages and Smaller Towns was adopted on January 13, 2022, by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors after an 18-month long process that involved stakeholder engagement as well as input received from the Johnson County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Johnson County Food Policy Council. The planning process was managed by an ad-hoc steering committee, the Johnson County Economic Development Committee, which included county officials and staff and members of the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) group.

A paper version of the plan is available at the Johnson County Planning, Development and Sustainability (PDS) Department located at 913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. If you have any questions about the plan, please call the PDS Department at 319-356-6083.

County 2018 Comprehensive Plan

The comprehensive plan, adopted by the County Board of Supervisors in 2018, includes a chapter on local economy, and related economic opportunity topics are incorporated into other plan goals. Access Comprehensive Planning documents here.

Additional Plans

The following plans, while not formally adopted plans by the Board of Supervisors, help guide efforts to build a vibrant and equitable local economy.

Better Together: All In Vision Plan was spearheaded by the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, Iowa City Area Development Group, Think Iowa City and the Iowa City Downtown District with input from area elected officials, stakeholders and others. Learn more about Better Together 2022 here.

Inclusive Economic Development Plan was developed by Astig Planning with the Iowa City Area Development Group, the Multicultural Center of Iowa, the Iowa City Area Business Partnership and Green State Credit Union. The plan serves as a guidebook to community leaders, local governments and the general public, and is available in four languages: English, Español (Spanish)Français (French), Hanyu (Chinese).



A branding collaboration for agritourism businesses in the unincorporated area and smaller towns is in progress. The effort is facilitated by the ICAD director of rural development and the Johnson County local foods coordinator. Please check back for updates.



Studying and improving broadband, especially in the unincorporated area and smaller towns, are goals within the County's economic development plan.

In 2023, the County efforts resulted in a needs assessment and three areas earning state-designated Broadband Intervention Zone status, increasing chances for broadband providers to receive competitive funds to complete expansion projects to unserved or underserved areas. Two local providers later won competitive grants to help building out these unserved areas.

For more information, access Broadband.


Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce

Access the County's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging resources here.


Economic Development and Quality of Life Grants

For information on the Board of Supervisors grants for economic development and quality of life, access the grants page here.


ICAD Director of Development

As called for by the new County economic development plan, Sarah Thompson was hired in July 2022 as the first-ever Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) Director of Rural Development.

Per a contract between the County and ICAD, Sarah consults with rural communities and unincorporated areas on efforts such as grant writing, place-making projects, economic development programs, strategic marketing, entrepreneurship and project management. For more about Sarah's expertise and her contact information click here.

Note: ICAD officially merges on July 1, 2023, with the Iowa City Area Business Partnership. The new organization will be renamed in the coming months. For more about the merger click here.


Local Foods

Local foods are an important part of the Johnson County community and economy. Visit the Local Foods page for more information.


Small Town Downtown Walk-Arounds

Several of the smaller towns were visited and evaluated by the Iowa Downtown Resource Center (part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority) in spring 2023 as part of a three-day tour that included an overall presentation. Follow-up written reports provided details on issues common to Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, Solon, Swisher and Tiffin, along with specific needs and recommendations for each community. Contact Sarah Thompson at ICAD for more information by clicking here.


Urban Revitalization

Click here to access all Urban Revitalization Plans adopted by the Board of Supervisors