It has been an exciting 4 months on the job as the City of Loveland’s new Economic Development Director. This role gives me the perspective of what makes a city tick in addition to getting my arms around all of the growth and business expansion projects that are happening. My approach to economic development over the last 18 years has been one of sticking to the core principles and practices so that we have a diversified approach. These core principles include the support of the following:
Creation of jobs: Our partnerships with the following agencies support the creation of jobs in our city; Loveland Business Development Center, Warehouse Business Accelerator, Loveland CreatorSpace, Made in Loveland, The Armory, Art space, Innosphere and more.
Retention and Expansion of business: Our department has just hired Dave Hoesing to handle the visits and relationships with as many of our growing business firms as he can. We have just done the analysis of companies in town. We have 2,706 firms. 1943 of them have under 10 employees. 48 firms have over 100 employees. Much of our work revolves around assisting these firms with their expansions and growth strategies.
Attraction of business: Every week we receive calls from businesses who are looking at Loveland as a location for their firm. Often the calls come in from a developer/broker who represents the firm and we are not given the name of the firm. We provide them with agnostic real estate information and do all we can to describe the amazing attributes of doing business and living in this city.
Tourism: Tourism is a newer focus area for economic developers. In Loveland, at the foot of the Rocky Mountain National Park and sitting almost equidistant between Canada and Mexico and our East and West coasts, we are fortunate to receive many visitors throughout our community each year. One thing I hear often when I ask a firm why they chose Loveland to locate to, is the fact they traveled on vacation here and couldn’t wait to live here. Cindy Mackin and her staff, at the City, work tirelessly to attract worldwide attention to this town. They are in charge of the Fire and Ice Festival and many other events throughout the year to keep the city hopping with vibrancy. We also operate the Visitor Center through this department and those volunteers are a terrific resource for visitors/tourists.
Downtown Development: Due to the Foundry redevelopment project, our downtown is certainly being catalyzed with new development interest. This 76 million dollar project will bring a hotel, movie theater and public plaza for events to us in late 2018-2019. This project also brings a public parking garage which Loveland citizens having been wishing for for years. On the heels of this redevelopment city staff is working on a possible Heartland block redevelopment, and the Pulliam building remodel.
Workforce Development/ Broadband/ Transportation/ Airport: In each of these sub categories are strategic initiatives underway to make the city a more attractive and diverse place to live and do business.
City of Loveland
Economic Development Director
If at any time, you would like to contact me to discuss an idea or ask questions about the progress of the work we are doing within the Economic Development department, I welcome your comments.
I can be reached at 970-744-0127 or Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org.