Friday, December 3, 2010
Eco-devo transition to start in mid-December
I once had hoped to join Gov. Bill Ritter's economic-development team. I can't say I'm glad I did not, but the four years I've had to think about it certainly fed my fantasies about what an effective economic-development team should be doing:
Like finding a way -- and the money -- for the state and its local governments to offer incentives to businesses to locate here. Big business fosters the growth of small businesses in a regional economy, and small businesses provide any economy the most jobs.
Or like being an advocate for the nearly 500,000 small businesses in the state, including more than 350,000 sole proprietors if they have survived the last two years of national recession.
Or like promoting the use of instate small-business vendors to do much of the work the state contracts out to private business. That work in the past has been valued at more than $4 billion annually. So there's a lot of job creation built into that money.
Or like advocating the growth of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in order to correct a lopsided disparity of such firms among the state's contractor corps. Facilitating the use of such firms by large businesses in Colorado as well as by state and local government units would help strengthen the state's economy at the core of its small-business community.
Or like acting as a mediator for small businesses among state agencies like the labor department when decisions are made that affect a small-business owner's livelihood. The OEDIT director or his representative could ensure that small-business owners are given some consideration prior to boosting fees and raising premiums.
Or like advocating for the general business position among state agencies, boards and commissions when other special interests like labor unions and environmentalists try to influence regulatory decisions.