Small Business

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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Successful Moving Fort Collins Forward! Campaign Buys Impact and Quality

As you know from the update in today’s Chamber SmartBrief e-Weekly, the Chamber’s annual Moving Fort Collins Forward! campaign is over and was very successful. When the residual pledges and numbers finish coming in, campaign volunteers will have raised over $700,000 and recruited 100 new members in just 11 weeks. Very impressive!

But while we measure progress with numbers, what do they really mean?

First of all, as I’ve said in this space before, we don’t raise money for the sake o...

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In Appreciation of Business

This morning I attended the City of Fort Collins’ Inaugural Business Appreciation Breakfast at the Marriott. There were about 200 people in the room. Businesses that had been operating for 75 years or more in Fort Collins were recognized. The underlying theme of the event was city government saying ‘thank you’ to business.

How refreshing! It was wonderful to see city government officially acknowledging the contribution businesses make to the success of the community. ...

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Lincoln’s Publicity Lessons for Small Businesses

In honor of Presidents' Day, here's a story on Inc.com about six publicity lessons from Abraham Lincoln. Writer Steve Cody says the six lessons are: 1. Nurture the brand of you.

2. Share the wealth.

3. Embrace new technology.

4. Use comedy to defuse a crisis.

5. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

6. Timing is everything.

(As I read #3, I kept seeing an image in my head of President Lincoln leaned back in a chair near a pot-bellied stove, his long l...

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Small Business Health Care Reform Toolkit

Here's a great resource for our small business members that explains how health care reform wil impact them. It's a Health Care Reform Toolkit  for Small Employers produced by Flood & Peterson.

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