Economic Development Newsletter
Sun Country cont'd
- Can you describe the process of working with the city to get your business moved? Was it easy to get your questions answered? How was difficult was it to secure licenses/permits or meet any other special requirements for your business?
Typically for a business relocating to a new city, the licensing/permitting process can be frustrating and seemingly overly long. We were delighted to find with the city of Wheat Ridge, that the process was friendly, and permits were reviewed and granted notably faster than in some other nearby cities. We were happy that Chief Building Official Brian Tardif and Economic Development Manager Steve Art offered to meet with us early in the process. (We didn’t ask; They volunteered this meeting.) We met with them on short notice, and it was helpful in assuring us the process would be organized, as painless as possible, and fruitful. My numerous questions along the way have consistently been promptly addressed.
- What are the benefits/advantages to doing business in the City of Wheat Ridge?
Great location, just off I-70 and close to Denver. Pro-business philosophy and outlook. Small-town feel. Low crime.
- Would you recommend Wheat Ridge as a site for other entrepreneurs to consider?
Yes, without hesitation. Relocating a business such as ours, with a full warehouse and offices, takes much time and careful planning. Business owners who are moving are often frustrated and stressed by the many, many hours lost, due to the heavy demands of planning and organizing a move. It is difficult to take care of customers and organize a move at the same time. So it’s very encouraging to work with a city that understands the process is difficult, and actively works to make the complicated process as seamless as possible.
New President of EDC cont'd
Q. Why is Wheat Ridge a good economic development site?
Because the city has a very business-friendly climate and policy makers willing to work with businesses. The city manager and economic development manager work hard with businesses to meet their needs. That’s unique. In lots of communities in Colorado, when a business decides to locate there, all they get is a list of what they need to do. That’s not how Wheat Ridge operates. They are still community-minded. They offer specialized customer service and these days, that’s something businesses really crave. They have really exciting business parks they are in the process of developing and with light rail and great access to I-70, it’s a really desirable location.
Q. How will you support existing businesses in Wheat Ridge?
I believe it’s critical to be a resource to the businesses already in Jeffco. We are going to be developing a retention and expansion plan, which includes reaching out to all of the primary employers in the area and sitting down with them and understanding what their needs are. We want to make sure, for example, that they know there are dollars available to them through tax credits, job training dollars, etc. We will be reaching out to conduct one-on-one meetings and industry roundtables to provide information and address challenges they’re facing. Our overarching goal is for Jeffco EDC to become the resource that businesses can go to. We want realtors and city managers and bankers to think of us whenever they hear of a business that is thinking of locating or growing in Jeffco.
Q. What are your goals as the new president and CEO of Jeffco EDC?
One is to embark on a robust marketing campaign that spans everything from social media to digital to print. We want Jeffco’s name to be top of mind and to roll off businesses’ tongues. When they say we want to move to Colorado, we want them to say they want to move to Jeffco. We need to brand ourselves and differentiate ourselves form other communities.