Last week, May 8-13, was National Economic Development Week, intended to celebrate the local economic development organizations that generate growth, create better jobs for residents and facilitate improved quality of life in Colorado. It seems like a great time to remind our community of the many free services that your local organization, the Leadville/Lake County Economic Development Corporation (LLCEDC), offers to our entrepreneurs and businesses.
We formed in 2012 with the purpose of supporting and growing our business community to ultimately be less reliant on the tax and employment contributions of the Climax Mine. For those who lived through its closing in the early 1980s, it created a prolonged period of difficulty socially and economically. With Climax representing 48 percent of our county’s valuation and the knowledge that they are likely to cease operations in 20 years, it makes our mission more important than ever to assist in starting and growing healthy businesses. Although there are many definitions of what economic development is, to attract jobs, growth and investment, a community must offer the necessary infrastructure, resources and guidance for new businesses to start and existing ones to grow.
Some of the things we are doing to achieve those goals are:
For entrepreneurs and investors, we created a How to Start Your Business in Lake County guide with step- by-step instructions on the legal and logistical processes to get into business. We created a location assistance database of available commercial properties and offer electronic packets of information on demographic profiles and forecasting, zoning and land use guides and processes, comprehensive plans and much more.
For existing businesses, we offer free, confidential mentoring through our SCORE program, free workshops and trainings (the next one is about taxes on June 21) and began the Business Retention and Expansion Interview process to quantify the opportunities and barriers that our local businesses experience.
For necessary infrastructure, we have worked with new internet service providers on redundant broadband solutions, the design and creation of an industrial business park and continue to assist Lake County in water planning and affordable housing plans.
If you know of a business or entrepreneur that could benefit from any of our free services, please reach out so that we can help them become more successful!