The North Star Economic Development Marketing Study designated the Chamber as the lead organization for working with existing businesses in order to retain our current businesses and help them grow. With financial assistance from Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction, the Chamber began a series of outreach efforts in the community earlier this year which included:
- Utilizing a team of ED Partners to reach out to three local manufacturing firms to offer assistance with possible expansions and/or leadership changes. The firms together employ 800 people.
- Provided information and paperwork for three companies on the Business Personal Property Tax Exemption program. None of them have moved forward at this point with submitting the necessary documentation to begin the process.
- Hosted a Tech Roundtable in collaboration with LaunchWestCO to discuss how to grow the industry. With over fifty attendees it was difficult to capture all the ideas, but talent attraction, quality of life, and quality of education were key themes along with broadband access that was available and affordable. A follow-up discussion is planned later this year.
But the most significant step toward being of more assistance to existing businesses occurred with the hiring of C.J. Rhyne as the Chamber’s full-time Business Retention/Expansion Specialist. C.J. will be responsible for making calls on primary job creators to ascertain how the community can more proactively assist them grow. He will also maintain a database of these visits in order to identify community trends affecting local businesses and provide real time information about the resources available to businesses from all of the economic development partners. C.J. is a CMU graduate with a degree in business management with experience in managing a business and selling real estate. Please welcome him to the Chamber staff!
Click here to download full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce April 2016 Newsletter.