Creating Industry

How Can We Create Industry?

The largest employer in Huerfano County is the county itself. The second and third largest are the hospital and the RE-1 school district. Those three entities employ over 400 people.

How can we bring true industry to our county? It’s a million-dollar question County Commissioners have asked over the years. Chaé Organics and Love’s Truck Stop are exceptions, but the sad truth is true industrial growth has been limited and many previous businesses have closed their doors. The ramifications of these closures have been profound in loss of jobs, loss of workforce, and loss of revenue.  We need to identify why businesses close and what can be done to keep them here. Why did three manufactured home companies close their doors at times when the housing market was booming?

  • What makes a business successful?  A good example is the business model of Chaé Organics.  They have expanded to five product lines, gone international, and have added dozens of new jobs to the area.  One of my goals is to speak to companies like Chaé and learn what has made them successful.

 

  • We need to utilize resources already available to us, such as the USDA, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development to form Enterprise Zones which will offer substantial tax incentives to small businesses and other new industries.

 

  • We need to welcome real estate development and encourage building owners to create business incubators to bring in service professionals.  My own building on East 5th in Walsenburg is an example of how five businesses can flourish within a well-maintained office space. We also need to encourage more retail stores in our down-town areas. Vibrant main streets are made for retail businesses.

 

  • Industry also begins with marketing.  We cannot wait for companies to approach us but should be proactive in inviting new business.  I would push for the creation of a marketing department to work alongside the Tourism Board and Economic Development to promote Huerfano County, not only as a destination stop, but as a place where business can thrive and where cottage industry can be successful.

Affordable housing, a willing workforce who meet the hiring requirements of employers, broadband internet, utilities to sustain growth, water to support industry, quality education, entertainment, and quality health care are what companies and their employees are looking for. To bring new industry here, we first need to know why companies don’t consider Huerfano County a place to relocate and figure out what we can do to invite industry.

How Can We Create Industry?

The largest employer in Huerfano County is the county itself. The second and third largest are the hospital and the RE-1 school district. Those three entities employ over 400 people.

How can we bring true industry to our county? It’s a million-dollar question County Commissioners have asked over the years. Chea Organics and Lowes Truck Stop are exceptions, but the sad truth is true industrial growth has been limited and many previous businesses have closed their doors. The ramifications of these closures have been profound in loss of jobs, loss of workforce, and loss of revenue.  We need to identify why businesses close and what can be done to keep them here. Why did three manufactured home companies close their doors at times when the housing market was booming?

  • What makes a business successful?  A good example is the business model of Chea Organics.  They have expanded to five product lines, gone international, and have added dozens of new jobs to the area.  One of my goals is to speak to companies like Chea and learn what has made them successful.
  • We need to utilize resources already available to us, such as the USDA, Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development to form Enterprise Zones which will offer substantial tax incentives to small businesses and other new industries.
  • We need to welcome real estate development and encourage building owners to create business incubators to bring in service professionals.  My own building on East 5th in Walsenburg is an example of how five businesses can flourish within a well-maintained office space. We also need to encourage more retail stores in our down-town areas. Vibrant main streets are made for retail businesses.
  • Industry also begins with marketing.  We cannot wait for companies to approach us but should be proactive in inviting new business.  I would push for the creation of a marketing department to work alongside the Tourism Board and Economic Development to promote Huerfano County, not only as a destination stop, but as a place where business can thrive and where cottage industry can be successful.

Affordable housing, a willing workforce who meet the hiring requirements of employers, broadband internet, utilities to sustain growth, water to support industry, quality education, entertainment, and quality health care are what companies and their employees are looking for. To bring new industry here, we first need to know why companies don’t consider Huerfano County a place to relocate and figure out what we can do to invite industry.

How Can We Create Industry?