Economic Health Strategic Plan

The City of Fort Collins is in the process of updating its Economic Health Strategic Plan. The Chamber offers these observations as the City considers updates to this important plan.

Three defining characteristics of the Fort Collins business community are recognition, adaptation, and innovation. Recognize opportunities, adapt to circumstances, and innovate convenience.  This may sound easy, but it actually requires super-human powers.

First, our leaders must understand the mere idea of starting a new business is both exhilarating and gut-wrenching in equal measure.  For many of us, the certainty of monetary investment and uncertainty of resulting income poses far too much risk.  Better to find a job that offers a steady paycheck and a reasonable level of stability.

Those among us willing to endure sleepless nights as they worry about making payroll, create employment opportunities for others, tirelessly operate through economic cycles, and thrive amidst the turbulence and uncertainty of circumstances outside of their control, have all the markings of a superhero.  As a community, we need a strategic plan that celebrates and supports these masked marvels while promoting the expectation of growing their ranks.

Your Fort Collins Area Chamber believes the Reignite Northern Colorado Economic Strategy document lays out an ideal template for the City.

  • Ensure a resilient, robust, and diverse workforce
  • Support small business to ensure long-term resiliency
  • Capitalize on local industry clusters
  • Strengthen the role of Northern Colorado as a hub for innovation
  • Enhance regional cooperation to address common challenges and capitalize on opportunities

Initial steps in crafting the plan must incorporate a thorough examination of impediments that have been created by past policy decisions, prevailing procedures, and lack of awareness.  The plan must also commit to a full accounting of all policies from across the City organization.  What are the costs? What are the trade-offs? How and who will pay?  As it currently stands, policies are considered in a vacuum with only minimal consideration of how and to what extent such policies help or hinder our economy.

An effective, coherent economic plan must insist that all departments embrace accountability and objectively assess what is to be gained and what is to be lost before decisions are made.  Without a well-functioning economy, no other plan at City Hall is relevant.

Our local economy is strong and stable, but if we have learned anything over the past three years, it must be that nothing can be taken for granted.

Source: Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
February 28, 2023 

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