Monday, February 14, 2011

Over 100 Business Leaders Attend Annual Business and Development Summit

Growing economic optimism a factor for hiring and capital improvements this year

COMMERCE CITY – More than 100 members of the business community participated in Commerce City’s second annual Business and Development Summit Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. Attendees cited the need for further collaboration with each other to support local businesses, while acknowledging plans for new business development in the coming year.

“The input the city receives from local business leaders is extremely valuable because you’re on the front lines of our economic development efforts,” City Manager Jerry Flannery told the gathering. “Our success as a city is highly dependent on your success as local businesses and we are hopeful 2011 brings with it a better economy,” he added.

More than 70 businesses completed an online survey in preparation for this year’s summit. More than 60 percent plan on hiring staff within the next year, an increase of more than 35 percent from last year’s survey. Approximately 52 percent plan to implement capital improvements this year – more than double last year.

“Last year’s inaugural summit resulted in tangible improvements to our city’s economic development program,” added Flannery. “For example, the suggestion to create a business advancement taskforce, comprised of local businesses, created a nationally recognized incentive program that brought more than 400 jobs to the city over a six-month time period.”

The private sector brought many ideas to the table to further advance economic growth in Commerce City. The top priorities identified by the crowd for City Council and staff consideration include:

· An online resource for Commerce City businesses to obtain information on other businesses in the city and post jobs.

· Business outreach and promotion of existing businesses to the community and new businesses.

· Consideration of roadway medians and the impact they have on businesses, particularly if they make it difficult to access the business.

In the coming months, the city will refine the division’s strategic plan using this feedback, with several initiatives including:

· Form the Economic Development Business and Citizen Advisory Committees.

· Host the 2011 customer service summit.

· Evaluate the incentive program and provide recommendations for council consideration.

“Thank you to the 1,300 businesses within the city for a wonderful year,” said Brittany Morris, economic development director. “Information from the summit allows us to further support the private sector and seek opportunities to improve on the services Commerce City delivers.”

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