Phil Castle, The Business Times
Kristi Pollard said she’s observed a noticeable difference in the prospects for economic development in Mesa County.
“In the last year, things have really started to change,” said Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.
Pollard reviewed the efforts of the organization during an annual update presented as part of the Western Colorado Economic Summit .
There’s been an increase in the number of active prospects with which GJEP works that have expressed an interested in opening or relocating facilities, Pollard said. There’s been growth in a number of industry sectors, she said, including technology. Increased interest in outdoor manufacturing serves as a testament to the recreational opportunities available “in our own back yard.”
Eight companies have taken advantage of state and local tax incentives offered under the Rural Jump-Start program to operate ventures in Mesa County. Those companies and are expected to create a total of 600 jobs by 2020, Pollard said.
GJEP continues working with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce to establish a foreign trade zone and local customs office, efforts that could attract additional businesses.
Meanwhile, GJEP also works with existing businesses in retaining and expanding their operations.
Increased financial support for GJEP from local businesses, governments and individuals makes those efforts possible, Pollard said. “The support from the community to grow the economy is profound.”