By Brad Anderson
How do you feel about the businesses in Vail? Do we have enough restaurants, banks, hardware stores, clothing stores and doctor’s offices? If not, why not? What about commercial and industrial businesses.? Who is out there promoting our community? How do we attract business to our community? What do they get? Why invest here?
Those are all questions we are asking at the Greater Vail Area Chamber of Commerce. We have most, if not all, the favorable assets to be successful. Our population is growing rapidly, property prices are relatively reasonable, and we have access to a major interstate highway.
If we are to attract new enterprises and support existing businesses, we will need to identify our competitive advantage and unique assets. These include our remarkable residents and their skills; our local infrastructure; our schools, technical, and medical institutions; our cultural, natural, and artistic resources; and general quality of life. The three core components of an economic development strategy are supporting businesses, supporting workers, and supporting quality of life.
• Supporting Businesses. Supporting and expanding existing businesses and attracting new businesses contribute to economic development in several key ways, including helping businesses create jobs, encouraging entrepreneurship, enhancing fiscal sustainability and improving quality of life with new services and amenities. This part of an economic development strategy considers not only the businesses and industries with the greatest growth potential, but also where these businesses are located and how their location helps the community meet its economic, environmental, and other goals.
• Supporting Workers. Workforce development is an important aspect by ensuring that our Vail residents can benefit from these employment opportunities and economic prosperity. The availability of a workforce with a wide range of skills and education levels can help local businesses grow and attract new businesses.
• Supporting Quality of Life. Last, but definitely not least, is to ensure we maintain our quality of life. We live and work in Vail because we enjoy every sense of our community. A variety of factors can improve quality of life, such as neighborhood-serving shops and restaurants; green and open space; a variety of transportation choices, including options for walking, biking, driving, and public transit; artistic, cultural, and community resources such as museums, public art, community centers, religious institutions, and other community gathering spaces; and medical, technical, and academic institutions. Aesthetic improvements might include parks, trees and other vegetation that help improve the experience of living in Vail.
As Vail grows, we want it to do so in a manner that improves our community. Stay tuned – the best is yet to come.
Brad Anderson grew up on a family farm in northern Colorado and from Colorado State University. He joined the Greater Vail area Chamber of Commerce when he moved to southern Arizona as an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Vail.