Top Ways Economic Development Impacts Local Economies

Economic development is critical in impacting our local community and shaping the future of our social, cultural, and infrastructural landscapes. Each of us plays a part in shaping the destiny and direction of the place we call home.

At GJEP, we play a key role in the newest developments and celebrate alongside the businesses and organizations impacting positive change throughout Mesa County.  Our mission is to create quality jobs and expand capital investment in Mesa County by attracting, expanding, and retaining primary businesses.

To accomplish this vision, we engage in targeted business attraction in key industries, promote Mesa County’s assets, and assist businesses with site selection, incentive negotiations, workforce development, and community connections. We work closely with our economic development partners, including local Chambers of Commerce, the Business Incubator Center, Colorado Mesa University, and the Mesa County Workforce Center. We also work with local and state governments such as the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, the City of Grand Junction, City of Fruita, Mesa County, and Palisade.

From our economic development partners to our investors and community, we all have an important role in Mesa County’s future. Here are the top ways that economic development impacts our community:

 

Job Creation & Employment Opportunities

Creating new jobs is one of the most visible ways economic development impacts our community. These new positions are just one outcome of recruiting new businesses into Mesa County and helping current businesses expand. As local employment grows, residents can access more opportunities, better-paying jobs, and career advancement.

Within our business development efforts at GJEP, we focus on industries and companies that will drive the creation of full-time, primary jobs. We define primary jobs as employment that pays at or above the median annual wage for Mesa County, which currently sits at a little over $50,000/annually. Often, the companies we work with require additional employees from entry-level to executive, generating new opportunities for all levels. The creation of these jobs is paramount to reducing poverty and changing the lives of residents.

 

Industry Diversification

When local communities are too reliant on one industry, they are more likely to be impacted by boom-and-bust cycles. GJEP was formed by community leaders to support the diversification of Mesa County’s economy. Since then, we have seen increased activity across most industries as unemployment continues to trend downward and the labor force continues to climb in recent years.

When our team engages in proactive business recruitment and marketing initiatives, we focus on growing key industries in Mesa County, including aerospace and aviation, manufacturing, healthcare and medical, outdoor, and more. We chose to focus on these industries due to their stability, job creation potential, and the guidance of our board of directors.

We utilize location quotient data to compare the concentration of an industry in Mesa County to the concentration of that industry at the state level. This provides an accurate snapshot of the diversification of our community and helps us uncover areas of opportunity.

 

Business Recruitment, Retention, & Expansion

Retaining local businesses and helping them grow is equally important as recruiting new businesses. Our local businesses are invested in the vision of prosperity and economic growth in Mesa County. These businesses generate new capital investment and jobs, creating a ripple effect throughout our community and building a strong economic foundation.

We work with our economic development partners, such as Chambers of Commerce, to support business retention and expansion by connecting businesses with eligible state incentives and grant funding, local brokers, and supporting workforce development initiatives.

 

Increased Tax Revenue & Infrastructure Improvement

Increased local business activity means increases in tax revenue generated for our schools, community services, and infrastructure. Economic development often necessitates better infrastructure, such as improved roads, transportation systems, and utilities. For example, new infrastructure will need to be implemented with new developments (like Costco) in our community. These improvements benefit our community by improving accessibility, convenience, and quality of life.

In many cases, infrastructure improvements will be put in place during the construction of the development, and the business will generate further economic impact through tax revenue. With Costco, the development is anticipated to generate $62.2 million for Mesa County, $11.7 million for District 51, $8.3 million for Grand Junction, $2.6 million for Fruita, $1.8 million for Palisade, and $774,000 for both Colbran and De Beque over 20 years.

 

Improved Quality of Life

Everyone wants to be part of a community that feels safe and vibrant. With increased access to job opportunities, improved infrastructure and amenities, the impact of economic development multiplies. This ripple effect manifests in stronger school systems, improved housing access, better jobs, and a healthier community.

The decisions we make today will shape our community’s destiny and legacy. At the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, we believe true growth and resilience come from working together. By pooling our strengths, connections, expertise, and resources, Mesa County becomes stronger, more influential, and better positioned to face economic challenges.

Together, we can build a strong economy by growing key industries, attracting new businesses, supporting the expansion of local businesses, and facilitating the creation of new primary jobs.

 To learn more about how you can partner with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, please visit www.gjep.org/invest or email Executive Director Curtis Englehart at curtis@gjep.org.

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