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 secure $309M for 3 main projects on North I-25 –
- Berthoud Hill climbing lane (done)
- Crossroads bridges and leveling out grade separation (scheduled to be done in October)
- funds committed to Phase I widening of 14 miles between Highway 14 and 402 just south of Loveland (to start in December and to be done by the end of 2020)
- During 2017 legislative session
- worked to get bi-partisan legislation drafted prior to session
- unfortunately, the bill that finally got introduced (HB 1242) by legislative leaders was dead on arrival
- did not have support of key Republican leaders, tax increase too big, transit and local shareback elements too rich
- lobbied House and Senate leaders to modify the bill to something more reasonable, testified, completed statewide poll
- Fall ballot initiatives
- were in the process of deciding whether to support the ‘Fix Our Damn Roads’ initiative when supporters decided not to move ahead
Align, Attract and Retain Talent. The Chamber, in partnership with other community organizations, has developed and is implementing a plan to help meet the community’s workforce needs.
- Published “Talent 2.0: Regional Workforce Strategy, Fort Collins-Loveland Metro Area” in February
- Held a community roll-out event of the plan in February
- Have drafted an 18-month implementation plan
- Have drafted a governance / committee structure
Expand and Retain Existing Business. Also in partnership with other groups, the Chamber has revitalized a program to stay in close touch with area primary employers to help them grow in place. We’ve helped formalize the program including
- Selected and formalized participating partner organizations
- Designed the program – determined info to collect, confidentiality procedures, database, etc.
- Ready to conduct employer interviews
Bold Voice of Business. The Chamber has an active role in representing the interests of business with government.
- Supported Citizens for a Sustainable in publishing report on ‘What 100 Primary Jobs Mean’ to Fort Collins
- Helped elect a City Council that respects and appreciates business – 2 of 3 chamber-endorsed candidates won
- Successfully lobbied for less onerous increases in City capital expansion fees
Raised Over $3.3M for Northern Colorado Prospers. The above-mentioned goals are part of a major 5-year key strategic initiative campaign called Northern Colorado Prospers. The purpose of NCP was to raise more money to put toward these goals over a longer period of time.
- Assembled campaign leaders
- Prepared case statement and other materials
- Launched campaign March 3
- Held ‘ask’ meeting with 110 potential investors
- Secured over $3.3M in support
- Developed Investor Relations Plan
Other Noteworthy Accomplishments
- Had a successful Annual Dinner. 550 people joined us for this annual celebration
- Held a successful Health Care Summit. 279 people joined us for our 6th Annual Summit
- Celebrated Small Business at the Small Business of the Year Awards. 200 people joined us as we recognized Vern’s Toffee House (0-10 employees); Vaught, Frye, Larson Architects, Inc. (11-50 employees); Forney Industries, Inc. (51-200 employees); and Senior Life Solutions (business in operation for less than three years)
- Conducted 5 class sessions of Leadership Fort Collins, our locally-focused 9-month program. Graduation was in May with 35 community members completing the program
- Conducted 6 class sessions Leadership Northern Colorado, the two-county 6-month program. Graduation was in June with 31 leaders completing the program
- Great networking offered to our members:
- Envision Young Professional Programing: 285 attendees
- Lunch n’ Learn (6 sessions): 161 attendees
- Fridays at the Chamber (6 events): 320 attendees
- Connect@Lunch (6 events): 214 attendees
- Business After Hours (1 regional, 5 local events): 1,175 attendees