Economic development plan must tap business know-how
Who knows better than business owners and managers what opportunities exist for growth — and what challenges persist to hobble that growth?
Fortunately, business owners and managers are expected to play a big role in writing an economic development plan for Mesa County both in terms of responding to an online survey and sharing their ideas in person at an upcoming planning session.
The impetus for writing the economic development plan comes from newly elected Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who expects every county in the state to write a plan. Those plans then will be integrated into regional and state efforts to promote business and create jobs.
Nonetheless, the timing is good in Mesa County to write a plan that takes into account current conditions as well as takes a more unified approach to economic development. Dozens of organizations play important roles in economic development, from recruiting new businesses to assisting entrepreneurs to educating and training the work force. Given scarce resources, it makes good sense to establish some shared priorities to which those organizations can devote their collective attention.
The best part of the process, though, is that the plan is being developed from the bottom up rather than the top down. Rather than have bureaucrats in Denver decide how the state can help promote economic development in Mesa County, why not have the businesses owners and managers who respond to opportunities and create jobs suggest likely strategies instead?
It’s incumbent on those owners and managers to participate. Those who haven’t received a survey by e-mail can respond by logging on to the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce website at www.gjchamber and take the survey posted there. In addition, a big turnout is needed for a planning session set for 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Mesa State College Center.
Business owners and managers know what works and what doesn’t work in promoting business growth and creating jobs. It’s imperative to include that knowledge in an economic development plan for Mesa County.