Business owners question need for EDP |

Business owners question need for EDP

Board members field questions to make stronger organization

What kind of bang will I get for my buck? Why has the board gone through two directors? And, what does the group do?

These were some of the questions posed to members of the Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership during a meeting Tuesday night.

“At least we’re hearing some of the problems that people are having,” EDP board member Dave Fleming said toward the meeting’s end.

EDP members hosted Tues–day’s meeting after personally asking owners of small businesses to weigh in about their reasons for not joining the group that has been functioning for about three years.

“The main reason I didn’t join was because of the money,” said Twila White, owner of A-1 Dry Cleaners. “I am tight. I earn my money by quarters. I won’t join unless I figure this is going to benefit (my business).”

Board Chairman Scott Cook fielded questions for the pro-business group, which charges membership fees according to a business’s number of employees.

Cook said that its membership is made up of about 30 small businesses, but the group thinks that more could strengthen the group’s aim of improving the economy for all businesses. The group has secured grants available for small businesses to conduct feasibility studies. It also has helped ensure a Houston to Hayden flight, which has the potential to bring in more tourist dollars.

“We want the money, but we also want people to get involved and share their ideas,” Cook said.

Cook compared membership in the group to advertising a business might do to promote itself. Business owners who are members of the EDP are shouldering the load for others, he said.

“The way it’s working right now, not all the businesses are sharing the risk,” Cook said.

As a result of the meeting, John Deere outfitter Tom Walsh said he would consider joining the group. However, Walsh specified that he’s in the business of selling products on a regional, rather than local, scale.

Much of Tuesday’s meeting turned into a brainstorming session about how and why small businesses should diversify.

“We’ve got a lot of good people that know a lot of things,” Fleming said. “If we all banded together, we would have a lot of experience and expertise.”

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or

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