First Business Retention and Expansion Report Released by Chamber and County Partners
The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Business Retention and Expansion Partnership of Larimer County, has released the first Northern Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Annual Report for 2018. The report’s highpoints include year-over-year growth in gross regional product, low unemployment rates and strong job growth in the Larimer and Weld County region.
The Partnership, made up of the City of Fort Collins, City of Loveland, Town of Windsor, Town of Berthoud, Town of Wellington, Larimer County, Larimer County Small Business Development Center, Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development, Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, Estes Park EDC and One NoCo, has taken on the task of staying in close contact with the area’s primary employers to understand needs, expansion opportunities and the risk of losing key employers.
The partnership gathered 315 responses from regional businesses in 2018.
The final data showed a generally optimistic view of the economy, as well as positive reports of business growth and expansion. Most interviewees indicated they have added workers over the last three years and are planning to add more in the next three years. However, businesses consistently reported Interstate 25 and workforce as major challenges, citing key barriers of finding talent, employee retention, a lack of skilled labor, scarce resources and area cost of living.
“Economically, taking care of the primary employers already here is top priority. To do that we need to have strong relationships with them and be in regular contact. That’s what the partnership is about. The data from 2018 indicates employers are pleased to be here and are planning to add work and hire more people. They also made it clear that work force is a big issue we need to stay focused on,” said David May, President & CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Partnership will continue to conduct primary employer interviews to engage with more businesses in the two-county region and publish a second annual report.
Expand and Retain Existing Business is one of the four goals of the Chamber’s Northern Colorado Prospers (NCP) 5-year strategic campaign. Funds from NCP helped drive the resources, creation and printing of this Annual Report.