Small Business

First Half of 2017 Strong for the Chamber

Another Independence Day come and gone. I hope you had a great one with family and friends.

At the midpoint of the year, here’s a quick review of what we’ve accomplished at the Chamber.

Fix I-25. The Chamber continues to lead the lobbying effort to get the funds to widen I-25 between Highway 14 in Fort Collins and Highway 66 north of Longmont.

Assembled team – lobbyists, media relations firm, pollsters, business leaders in two counties
Northern Colorado leaders have helped se...

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Small Businesses Vital to Fort Collins Area

Last week the Chamber held its annual Small Business of the Year Awards Breakfast. While it’s an opportunity to recognize a small group of finalists, it’s also about celebrating free enterprise, individualism and courage.

Sure, that’s over-romanticizing small business because it ignores things like long hours, the challenges of wearing (too) many hats, vendor and supplier challenges, money pressures and everything other problem that goes with running your own business. Even so, when I t...

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Big Thanks for a Big Campaign

Nearby is a recap of the Chamber’s annual Moving Fort Collins Forward! Campaign.  I hope you’ll take a minute to read it.

I want to extend my personal thanks to all of the people who supported the campaign.  We had company CEOs agree to have teams in the campaign and Vice Chairs that lent their prestige.  The team captains and team members were unbelievable and fun to work with.  Our leaders were Yvonne Myers of Columbine Health and Chris Otto of EKS&H.  This dynamic duo led us t...

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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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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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Less Government, Please

At a meeting this morning of the Chamber’s Red Carpet Committee I was asked what can be done about the issues of stagnant wages and unaffordable housing.

It’s a bit like being asked to tell the history of the world in a paragraph! Immensely hard to do, but possible.

The real short answer is that both issues would benefit from less local government bureaucracy. So, I want credit for answering a difficult question with one sentence! The longer answer could be much, much longer. I’ll sp...

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Credit Where Credit is Due

Last Wednesday evening 500+ people gathered at the Hilton for the Chamber’s Annual Dinner. It was great to hear the buzz in the room. People were so into visiting that it was hard to get the event started! And, it was great to see very worthy people honored for their contributions to the Chamber and community including outgoing Chair Yvonne Myers, outgoing Treasurer / Board Director Jason Ells, Allison Hines as Young Professional of the Year, Steve Tool as Volunteer of the Year and Karen Weitk...

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Resources for Your Small Business

Should I open a business here or somewhere else? Do I have potential customers in this market? I think I'd like to expand my company but is that a good idea?

Even if you are a seasoned small business owner, your 'gut' will only take you so far. Sometimes there's no substitute for hard data.

A couple of weeks ago the U.S. Census Bureau introduced the Census Business Builder, which is a suite of services that you can customize to generate demographic and economic reports for geographic areas...

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Chamber Priorities in 2016

Recently I reviewed with you what the Chamber got accomplished in 2015.

For 2016, the Chamber has another big year teed up. Subject to final approval by the Board the month, here are the top priorities for the year:

Lobby to secure funding to widen North I-25 to 3 lanes each way between Highway 14 in Fort Collins and Highway 66 north of Longmont. We have made good progress here over the past two years as I have previously reported but much remains to be done. We will be making a big push ...

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