It’s all about the economy and jobs. The fastest way to improve the local economy and the bottom line for you, our members, is to focus on what will help us secure more jobs for the area. I’m happy to report that April was filled with meetings and activities that can lay the groundwork for making that happen.
I sit as the Chamber’s representative to Industrial Developments, Inc. (IDI), a sister organization to the Chamber that holds land as an incentive for business locations and expansions. As one of the economic development partners working together to strengthen our economy this group met with the City of Grand Junction’s consultants charged with developing an economic development marketing plan on April 7th. The following day I met with them once again as a member of the Chamber’s Executive Committee in a joint meeting with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and Business Incubator Center Executive Committees.
What struck me in both meetings was the value of having an outside perspective on how we can improve our marketing efforts and message. Many of the initial thoughts from the consultants were simple, from having IDI involved earlier in the selection process so that the organization might better leverage its current assets to acquire exactly what a company needs to targeting small companies in geographic locations with direct flights into the Grand Valley. Yet, they make great sense and begin to zero in for us on areas and strategies that have the best chances of success.
Along the way we also learned in more specific ways how the assets of the Grand Valley align with most companies’ priorities for expansion and relocation. The final study results will be released this fall but from my perspective I can already see the benefits of having this study commissioned and thank the City of Grand Junction for taking the lead in making it happen.
Another exciting development in the works that took shape last month is the way a dozen organizations from Western Colorado are coming together to support an idea that was developed through the Chamber’s Energy and Economic Development Committee last fall. Seventeen representatives from industry, government and nonprofits are in the process of planning a trip to Calgary in early June to exhibit at the Global Petroleum Show. While there, the delegation intends to focus efforts on helping existing companies in the region make connections with possible customers, make calls on corporate headquarters of companies with a significant presence in the area, visit with 200 manufacturing related exhibitors about having a location in our region and pitch the concept of investing in the Piceance Basin.
This one activity will combine the manpower and assets of our multiple organizations working together to boost the potential for job creation which is exciting.
One final note is that your board of directors at the April meeting heard a presentation on the concept of Tax Free Colorado legislation and adopted a resolution of support. As I write this the bill is being introduced into the Colorado Senate. I am hopeful of its subsequent passage, giving us all one more tool as we work together to market our region.
All of these efforts are going to strengthen our united efforts going forward to build a stronger local economy…a major focus for your Chamber. April was a good month!
Jeff Franklin, Chairman