CDP Editorial: Building better business

Our View

The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership is looking for a new director. Here’s hoping EDP board members emphasize to the new director an area that’s long been overlooked — new business recruitment.

In a perfect world, three local nonprofit groups in Craig and Moffat County would have a breakdown of responsibilities and functions as follows:

• Craig Chamber of Commerce — promote and service existing businesses.

• Moffat County Tourism Association — publicize and fund community events and attempt to draw out-of-town visitors.

• Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership — assist current businesses and recruit new ones.

All three of these groups do a commendable job serving the community in a variety of ways. Let the Craig Daily Press today applaud the agencies, their employees, board members and volunteers for their efforts.

However, the scenarios above aren’t exactly playing out like they ideally would, with the groups having missions and goals that sometimes overlap with each other, creating blurred lines at times.

But, one key area being overlooked by all three, as well as our local governing bodies, is new business recruitment. That has to change in the future if our community wants what many say they do — a versatile and diversified economy that doesn’t depend almost solely on energy industries.

With new business recruitment as a definite need in Craig and Moffat County, we turn attention to EDP’s search for a new director.

EDP Director Darcy Owens-Trask will soon be leaving the agency for a position with the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Owens-Trask did a great job during her time with EDP, and she deserves the public’s thanks for her service.

But, while her departure is unfortunate, it perhaps creates an opportunity for EDP to enhance the director position from part- to full-time and hire someone with a proven track record of landing new businesses.

To do so, the new director would have to successfully lobby our local governments to offer incentive programs, a not-so-small task given our elected leaders’ resistance to such offerings in the past.

The Daily Press believes with just enough perks to offer, Craig and Moffat County can become a worthwhile destination for new businesses. There are assets we have that other communities don’t, the newspaper contends.

We encourage EDP leaders to look long and hard at business recruitment as a top priority for the new director.

The only way our community won’t be at the mercy of future booms and busts, or left to the whims of unnecessary and politically-motivated regulations, is if we diversify, and that simply can’t happen without an official and agency bold enough to take the task on head on.

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Comments

native_craig_guy 2 years, 8 months ago

The EDP is limited because the existing business owners do not want more competition. This has plagued the EDP since its inception. Instead of blindly attracting whatever businesses that are looking for a place to operate maybe the EDP should target specific industries (like industrial support companies) and other companies that may not be aware of the infrastructure and current business opportunities currently in place in Moffat County. I have a hard time believing that tourism is going to save Moffat County and enable us to grow. We should instead, focus on the businesses that are already in place in the valley and look to them for what they could use, (i.e. talk to the plant and the mines). The vast majority of the sales tax revenue and constant visitor traffic is provided by the industrial operations in the valley. Look at the airline industry, their marketing focus is on the vacation travel because vacationers are fickle and focus on prices, but they know that the majority of their travelers are on business travel and are more concerned with time schedule and flight availability as opposed to saving a couple of dollars. We need to do the opposite of what the airlines are doing. We need to focus on the long term, sustainable sources of revenue as opposed to infrequent visitors on vacation. Which brings me to my next point. The majority of business owners (and EDP board members) are entrepreneurs and/or small business owners who think inherently differently than a large business. There is a great difference between the two.

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