Lawrence Sober: Economic developement
March 9, 2014
To the editor:
Two things that never seem to come up in local discussions about economic development in Craig are business incentives and economic diversity. In order to survive in a global economy a community has to look for ways to diversify its economy. Business incentives have proven to be an effective way to do this in communities throughout the United States both in big and small communities. Forbes Magazine has listed the best 10 states to do business in ranking Colorado fifth out of the top 10.
Virginia has been ranked as the best state to do business in. Virginia works enthusiastically with new and expanded employers that create a high standard of living for their citizens and enhance local and state economies through increased revenue growth! To them incentives are an investment in its economic future and a business decision for both the community and the company. States like Virginia and Wisconsin demonstrate a willingness to invest in those who invest in their local economies.
Focus was put on small manufacturing companies and businesses that were looking for locations outside major cities. A notable exception in the top seven of Forbes "Best states for business," Colorado is the only state that is not a right-to-work state. Give credit to an educated labor supply and a migrating population that is attracted to its robust economy and outdoor recreational opportunities. Thirty-eight percent of Colorado adults have the second highest level of college attainment, behind only Massachusetts. The median household income in Colorado is $56,129. The cost of doing business in this state is 2.4 percent below the national average. The Gross State product is $274 billion.
There are many different programs that will help a state to develop business incentive programs. A few examples are agriculture and forestry industries fund, economic development incentive grants, clean energy manufacturing incentive grants, corporate income tax credits, sales and use tax exemptions, property tax exemptions, the rail industrial access program, which we all ready have a major rail head in place here. And breaks on infrastructure costs.
All local businesses need support from other businesses. Primary businesses are a good place to start but will not diversify the economy over time. It is important to consider all options available and not just focus on any one area of the economy. Developing our downtown area is just one of the things we as a community need to address. Many movie production companies are looking for areas to film movies of all types.
Adding requirements like expensive landscaping to an incoming business also deters that development not only at the time but for any future development.
Lawrence L. Sober