New committee meets to discuss improving Craig business community

The steering committee for an economic development project met for the first time Tuesday.

Community leaders got together to hone a vision for a better downtown Craig.

The group is called the Craig Community Assessment Steering Committee.

“I have an extreme interest in trying to save this town,” said Karen Brown, president of the Downtown Business Association and leader of the steering committee.

Downtown Colorado Inc. performed an assessment on Craig’s downtown and business community in spring 2013 and presented the report in December.

It showed that while people living in Craig love their town, there is a desperate need for more businesses and more consumers.

Katherine Correll, executive director of Downtown Colorado Inc., gave attendees of the December meeting a plan for boosting the local economy.

Community leaders at that meeting were to divide into four subcommittees — a steering committee, design committee, marketing committee and economic development committee — that would work together to revitalize a struggling storefront business community.

“Every business in town is an important business,” Brown said at Tuesday’s meeting. “We need everybody’s tax dollars.”

The goal of the committees would be to identify ways to brighten up the community and bring more cash flow to Craig.

Getting people to shop locally would help, Brown said.

“My biggest goal in my whole life is to get local people to shop local,” she said. “Our tax dollars need to stay here.”

Chris Oxley, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, said it was important to identify what Craig has to offer outside consumers and then highlight that locally. Community kiosks would encourage a shopping culture, she said. It also would be good to find ways to pull consumers from nearby rural communities that have started shopping elsewhere.

“If we had a good movie theater, I bet we could move that migration,” Oxley said.

Ultimately the committees will work together to make Craig the place to be, Brown said.

Let’s “make our town a destination,” she said.

People who are interested in getting involved with the Downtown Colorado Inc. project can learn more about the subcommittees and their meeting times on the Craig Chamber of Commerce website.

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@craigdailypress.com.

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