First Half of 2019 Good for Chamber

The Chamber is having a strong year. At the 7-month mark, here’s a quick review of the top priorities.

Lead the lobbying effort to secure funding to widen I-25 to 3 lanes between Highway 14 and Highway 66 (Fix North I-25)

Efforts by area leaders over the past several years, including the Chamber, have resulted in $927.5 million committed to North I-25. There have been several major wins in 2019:

  • The Fix North I-25 Business Alliance helped secure $300M in state General Fund expenditures for transportation.
  • The Alliance and other area leaders successfully lobbied the Colorado Transportation Commission to convert work on Segments 7 and 8 (Highway 14 in Fort Collins to Highway 402 Loveland) from an interim to permanent alignment and provide an additional $310M to do so. This preserves the median for future transit options and the construction standards are higher meaning future maintenance issues will be delayed.

Launch talent recruitment and development tools and programs for employers (Align, Attract and Retain Talent)

WorkInNorthernColorado.com launched in mid-April.  Over 3,400 local jobs have been listed on the site. We are now building the marketing plan around the site to promote it with jobseekers. We finalized agreements with Larimer County regarding additional tools for employers (trailing spouse, data, work based learning).

Narrow and deepen strategic work on key economic and business issues including Renewal of the “Keep Fort Collins Great” tax, Climate Action, and Impacts of Carbon Neutral to the Electric Utility (Bold Voice of Business)

The Regional Electricity Task Force is continuing to monitor the impacts of public policy on the reliability and affordability of electricity. At this point, we are aware of one primary employer that has elected to expand outside of Fort Collins due to the uncertainty created by the City Council’s 100 percent electricity goal. The community lost the opportunity for 45 primary jobs due to City Council.

The Chamber successfully opposed the April city ballot measure that would have made city council a full-time paid job. We supported the successful ballot measure to renew the quarter-cent Keep Fort Collins Great tax.

Implement Phase II Bringing Business Home campaign (Bold Voice of Business)

The Chamber has developed and is running the Bringing Business Home campaign to help the public make the connection between quality of life amenities and successful businesses. The campaign continues with seven full features and 6 mini features.  We continue to gain traction with citizens and will be evaluating the success of the program throughout the month of August.

Interview 50 primary employers (Expand and Retain Existing Business)

The Chamber teams up with eight other entities to proactively contact and interview the area’s primary employers to maintain strong relationships, identify companies we may be at risk of losing, identify expansion opportunities, and in general help these companies solve problems.  All the partners are in the field doing interviews.

Conduct a successful Moving Fort Collins Forward! Campaign

Co-Chairs Deb Kelly of Independent Bank and Mat Dinsmore of Wilbur’s Total Beverage have recruited 11 Vice Chairs and 11 teams for the annual Moving Fort Collins Forward! Campaign which kicks off on September 4. The goals are $575,000 (stretch goal is $600,000) and 100 new members. OtterBox is the underwriting Campaign Sponsor.

Conduct a study of how the Chamber delivers value through memberships and sponsorships

Staff has taken the feedback from the Board retreat and created a sponsorship activation plan with input from an advisory group. The goal here is to intentionally look at the value we provide to members and sponsors.

Support election of business-supportive candidates to City Council (Bold Voice of Business)

This is the negative for the year. City elections did not go well for business. Based on their first four months in office, this Council is not very supportive of business.

Other

Northern Colorado Prospers – the Chamber’s 5-year strategic initiative

  • Flash updates to NCP investors
  • April 10 NCP Annual Event and Annual Report
  • June 18 NCP Investors Advisory Council Quarterly Meeting
  • July 24 NCP Investors Update Event Online / published quarterly update doc
  • One-on-one meetings with top 12 NCP investors

Excellent Thought Leader event with national best-selling author Dan Heath

Successful Small Business of the Year event and recognition as well as a successful trade show with the “most booths ever”

Graduated Leadership Fort Collins and Leadership Northern Colorado

Recruiting 2019-2020 Leadership Fort Collins Class and Steering Committee

Filled NCLA vacancy and recruited Chair-Elect

Handed off Regional Issues Summit to Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance

First rate member events – Business After Hours, 12@12 Luncheons, Leads Groups, Red Carpet, Envision