Fort Collins chamber launches campaign to address NoCo’s business challenges

FORT COLLINS — The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce today launched a $3.35 million campaign to address Northern Colorado’s main business challenges, including transportation, labor force, business environment and retention of  key employers.

Northern Colorado Prospers is a five-year strategic initiative designed to address the challenges and drive the continued success of the region with four goals:

  • Fix I-25: Help secure the $1.7 billion necessary to widen north Interstate 25 between Fort Collins and Longmont.
  • Align, attract and retain talent: Advance a competitive advantage for both area employers and workers.
  • Bold Voice of Business: Advocate for business and ensure a high quality of life for all residents.
  • Expand and retain existing business: Increase business in Northern Colorado and create jobs.

Community members joined chamber and local business leaders at the initiative’s kickoff breakfast ,March 3. The 120 attendees learned how Northern Colorado Prospers will drive the future of our region and met many of the investors funding the initiative.

“This is an exciting time for Northern Colorado,” said Yvonne Myers, health systems director at Columbine Health Systems. “We are moving the dial on really big issues that impact business and this campaign will create additional resources to make a difference.”

Local business leaders have pledged more than $2 million toward the initiative’s goals thus far. Northern Colorado Prospers campaign leadership, in partnership with the chamber’s board of directors, will seek investors and oversee implementation of the initiative through 2021.

“The Fort Collins area is fortunate to have a strong economic base, with advanced technology, higher education, health care, manufacturing and state and federal government forming a diverse and resilient economy,” said Kevin Unger, chief executive of UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies. “At the same time, Fort Collins and the greater region of Northern Colorado face significant challenges that, left unaddressed, will adversely impact future prosperity. Northern Colorado Prospers will address the key roadblocks that threaten the ability of our community to remain the great place it is today to work, live and thrive.”

Investors signed up so far include:

Angel investors: OtterBox, Blue Ocean Enterprises.

Founder investors: UCHealth, Woodward.

Partner investors: Anheuser-Busch, Bank of Colorado, Elevations Credit Union.

Adviser investors: Advance Tank & Construction, BizWest Media, Columbine Health Systems, Dellenbach Motors, Dohn Construction, Ed Carroll Motors, EKS&H, First National Bank, Flood and Peterson, Fort Collins Auto Association, Fort Collins Coloradoan, The Group, Inc., Harmony Club, Hensel-Phelps, High Country Beverage, iHeart Media, Liley Law Office, Markley Motors, MGS Inc., Odell Brewing, Town Square Media.

Booster investors: Cushman & Wakefield, FirstBank of Northern Colorado, Northern Engineering. Toolbox Creative, Walker Manufacturing.