Springs gets lowest marks statewide for economic growth

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 Colorado Springs trails the rest of the state’s metropolitan areas in creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth.

The Milken Institute Best Performing Cities Index ranks Colorado Springs 101 among the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

Greeley was the highest ranked city in Colorado at 20th.

Fort Collins/Loveland was 22nd, Boulder was 44th and Denver/Aurora was 55th.

The components used to determine the rankings included job, wage and salary and technology growth.

Four of the top five metropolitan areas were in Texas.

Austin/Round Rock ranked first, followed by Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood. McAllen/Edinburg/Mission was fourth and Houston/Sugar Land/Baytown ranked fifth.

Salt Lake City was ranked third.

To see the list of rankings, visit Milken’s Web site.

8 Responses to Springs gets lowest marks statewide for economic growth

  1. Once again we lack the economic leadership and the business skill set in attracting companies to Colorado Springs, We can not bank on the beauty of the area alone. The military is the best thing we have going. Over my 23 years in business in the community I have see deal’s go south to Pueblo, Albuquerque and other cities. You have to attract the business with tax increment financing (TFI), reduce tap fees, faster development plan reviews, moving cost, relocation cost, tax savings, help with housing and other incentives to make it worth the move. This is not a stab in the back on the EDC. They are doing an excellent job. But every sales man/women needs sales tools. Sales tools are the war chest needed to make Colorado Spring the best mathematical reason to move here and make it home. No Incentives no reason to move. We have none. If we do it’s not enough and it’s not working!

    The city should develop a think tank of local business men/women put them in a room give them the directive to bring business to our city with sales tools and advise city council and mayor. This think tank has to have power to make the sales tools now and protected for our grandchildren. Create Jobs and you bring the revenue turning out the street lights is laughable. Can you say JOB”S JOB”S

    Steve Hammers
    November 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm

  2. And Sean Paige is on record that he OPPOSES helping to finance EDC with City Funds.

    I have been hammering at him for that ultra-libertarian position, since he is now a Councilman.

    Dave Hughes
    November 11, 2009 at 3:19 pm

  3. Its not surprising given our reputation for being a community that has proven over and over again that we are unwilling to financially support any type of infrastructure improvement, quality of life improvement, or anything that has to do with taxation. Denver and Fort Collins are much more attractive to most businesses.

    November 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  4. Someone needs to establish the logic (and mathamatical basis) that an increase in employment (jobs) actually brings prosperity to the general community of Colorado Sptings.

    The facts, as I see them: In Jan 1999,
    a.) total workforce was 275,700,
    b.) those employed was 266,750,
    c.) most importantly, those unemployed was 8,950.

    Now, 10 years, a millions for economic development, later:
    a.) workforce is 312,000, (up 13%)
    b.) those employed is 286,350, (up 11%)
    c ) our local unployed population is 25,650, (up 286%)

    During these “good times” of 36,300 more jobs, we in the community have spent millions, and have 16,700 more jobless on our unemployment rolls. During 2009, the city had on its books $915 miillion in unfunded projects, mostly infrastructure, and well as a significant operating deficit.

    What’s the logic here? How can we have strong job creation and “good economic times” and have these “financai hard times”. Somehow “jobs” doesn’t necessarily compute to local prosperity. I’m not unreasonable, and can be persuaded by a clear, concise and rational argument to the contrary.

    Also, I first worked in Colorado Springs over 50 years ago and have also lived elsewhere along the Front Range. I’ve never clearly understood what was the “problem” in this community that EDC was created to “solve”. How will be know if, and when, “the problem has been solved”?

    T.A. Arnold
    November 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  5. To T.A.: There is no logic. It is blind faith. Everyone just believes if you attract jobs you get prosperity. People go wherever the jobs are (they even swim across rivers and scale fences in the middle of the night, if necessary). So the more jobs we create or attract, the more people we’ll have competing for the jobs. At the end of the day, 10% unemployed out of a bigger population means a larger number of people living on the edge. Same problems, just bigger. And in our case it also means more people for the city to serve who don’t pay enough tax to cover the cost of serving them.

    Our focus should instead be on making sure we have a local economy in which needs are being met. That can happen in any “size” of economy. But it is not accomplished by perpetually growing the number of jobs and the number of people seeking them. Economic growth is overrated. We ought to be after economic health.

    Dave Gardner
    November 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm

  6. Interesting, however, that we’re rated by Business Week among the top 40 strongest US Metro Economies: http://tinyurl.com/yhyd3kd

    Dave, I also see value in health vs size.

    Laura Benjamin
    November 11, 2009 at 9:57 pm

  7. Why would one relocate here: weed filled parks; broken down play ground equipment; poorly maintained, unsafe trails, rec centers closed up; schools boarded up, and a downtown filled with bars and restaurants. Oh, I forgot: lots of police; the USOC headquarters; plus, I can go live in a special district and have all the amenities I am will to pay for, along with my $450K home. Sounds ideal for my minimum wage workers.

    C. Hartsell
    November 12, 2009 at 6:48 am

  8. If one was driving up I-25 from the south into the the downtown gateway at Bijou Street, all they’d have to do to get an idea of our town’s economic “prosperity” is glance across Fountain Creek to the dozens of tent cities that exist. Now that the leaves have fallen from the trees you can’t miss them. I know it’s a sobering reminder of the current economy, but any business types (who might be considering our City as a place to relocate) also could be driving up I-25 would look at this and conclude that the Springs has major problems. Sure, other CO cities have a homeless problem, but we’re the only one I know of that has its problem openly displayed right along the Interstate at the entryway to town.

    Sean Paige wants to pull city funding from the EDC. Given our ranking in this new poll on economic growth, I’d say the EDC has a lot of explaining to do as to why it should continue to be funded. Seems to me that economic growth is a very tangible and measurable thing. Exactly what are we getting from the EDC for our money? We have a lot to learn from the other 100 cities that ranked ahead of us, like how much are they paying for economic development services and what have they shelled out in nicentives to attract new businesses?

    Moe DeLaun
    November 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm