Business News

Small Business of the Year Annual Breakfast May 24, 7:30 AM, Drake Centre

Plan to join us on Thursday, May 24 at the Small Business of the Year Annual Breakfast. It will be at the Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Rd.

The Chamber started this event in 2012 with the intention of celebrating all the small enterprises in the area and recognizing a small group of worthy companies.

In doing, we celebrate the wonderful things that characterize small businesspeople including courage, innovation, self-initiated and independent.

Ask people why they started their businesses a...

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Dear Santa, Northern Colorado needs your help!

Dear Santa,

Hey, looking forward to seeing you shortly! I always enjoy time with you, even your "be a little nicer to government" lectures.

So here’s my list. Like last year, there’s nothing on it for me. I’m actually "divesting stranded assets," i.e., getting rid of junk from closets and the basement. But there are others in need, so maybe you can help.

Start with Colorado ...

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Retail Alive and Well…Just Different

One might conclude that physical retail in America is on its way to the dinosaur graveyard based on the frequent stories in the popular press. Toys “R” Us has filed for bankruptcy. Many of the big department stores are struggling. Online giant Amazon bought Whole Foods.

Credit reporter Pat Ferrier for a good story in last Sunday’s Fort Collins Coloradoan that put a local face on the changing landscape of retail (“Three local centers adapt to changes in different ways”, September 24)...

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Fleeing to Colorado

The debate about the proper role of government in our lives seems eternal. It comes up all the time and largely (all kinds of caveats here!) defines the competing philosophies of the major political parties.

From the Chamber perspective, we understand the vital role of government and believe it needs to be appropriately resourced. At the local level, where it’s easier to gauge government’s impact, businesses depend on good police and fire protection, good streets and other services.

Li...

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Half-century Later, I-25 is Same Size

A month ago I posted an entry about I-25 and highway funding in Colorado. These days I spend a lot of time on this issue. Occasionally other duties languish a bit, but the economic risks and payoffs related to I-25 are high so it’s the best use of my time for the foreseeable future.

While more optimistic than I have been over the last several years, getting a transportation funding bill passed this legislative session is still a long shot. The two political parties have been careful not to ...

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Time for less talk, more movement on Colorado highways

North Interstate 25 has been a frequent topic in my columns in recent years. Congestion on the interstate is a daily irritation and the subject of conversations around dinner tables and water coolers — and Twitter, Facebook and every other social media outlet — in Northern Colorado.

Starting with the positive first, three significant projects totaling more than $270 million are underway on the most congested part of I-25, namely the section between Loveland and Colorado Highway 14 in For...

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Where Will Workers Come From?

Workforce, talent, labor, employees, team members, members. Whatever label companies use to describe the people that work for them, most area employers are having some challenges hiring qualified people. And it’s going to get more challenging.

The Chamber has teamed up with other organizations in the Fort Collins-Loveland area to develop the first-ever talent development plan. Partners include the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, the City of Loveland, United Way of Larimer County, the City of ...

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Chopping Off the Lowest Rung of the Economic Ladder

What was your first job?

Mine was doing yard work for the local neighborhood grocer at age 9. A short time later we moved to the country. For the next decade I worked for area farmers clearing brush, shelling corn, weeding soybeans, throwing hay, detassling seed corn, and castrating hogs. I’ve shoveled more tons of soupy piggy manure than anybody else I personally know.

I did janitorial work at night during high school. In the summers I spent a lot of time pushing and riding lawn mowers ...

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City must justify climate plan expenses

In my last column (July 3), I wrote about the risks of Fort Collins’ city leaders developing a two-year budget that undermines support for future tax measures.

I specifically mentioned the Keep Fort Collins Great sales tax that will expire in a few years and how adding big costs into the budget now for things like climate programs could make it hard later to convince voters that the city actually needs more revenue.

Before getting to my main points, let me clarify a couple of t...

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The Fine Line between Well-funded and Silver-Plated City Government

I want to return once again to the theme of funding for our local city government and its 2-year budgeting process, which is now underway.

At the outset, understand where the Chamber is coming from relative to local government:

The community is fortunate to have clean, well-led, well-run local government. Many places are not so lucky.
The Chamber supports properly funded local government. The business community wants good basic services like good streets and properly staffed police an...

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