Durango, Colorado – May, 2018 – The La Plata County Economic Development Alliance (LPEDA) has partnered with the World Economic Development Alliance (WEDA) to initiate a new business relocation program.
As oil and gas activity has declined in the San Juan Basin, a significant amount of office space has become available. The new business relocation program will help fill that space and diversify the local economy. Efforts will focus on attracting financial technology firms, health care technology and services, and back office operations; such as regional headquarters.
“A smart relocation program builds on what is naturally occurring locally,” said Roger Zalneraitis, the Executive Director of LPEDA. “Financial technology is anchored here by Worldpay, combined with the Computer Engineering Bachelors degree at Fort Lewis College, and the Cybersecurity certificate at San Juan College in Farmington. Health care services are supported by two top rated hospitals, nationally renowned specialists, and a lifestyle that attracts top talent in the health care world.”
Back office functions are brought here by people who love the Rocky Mountain lifestyle, and include companies like EasyCare, who moved from Tucson, AZ and manages its global horseboot manufacturing and distribution from its offices in Hermosa, and ImageNet, a technology company headquartered in Oklahoma City that has established its Rocky Mountain division in Durango.
Eric Kleinsorge, the CEO of WEDA, notes that “getting in front of businesses when they are first starting to think about moving or opening a new location is key. By the time most businesses reach out to local communities you have already lost 90% of the opportunities that might have looked at you.”
The marketing campaign is based on building a pipeline of awareness, engagement, and ultimately relocations. It will target over 2,500 small businesses in select geographies to build awareness of the local business climate and lifestyle. These firms will be able to initially bring 5 to 30 new jobs to La Plata County that pay wages above the County average of $44,000 per year.
“Our goal is to have 400-500 businesses engaging with us online in 12 months,” said Mr. Zalneraitis. “From that, we expect to have 20-30 conversations with firms over the phone or in person, and a relocation within 18 months of launching the campaign.”
Asked why a business would move to Durango and La Plata County, Mr. Kleinsorge noted “I am impressed at how genuinely friendly and helpful everyone is in Durango. Your airport and internet are very strong for a mountain community, as is having both Fort Lewis College in town and two community colleges. All of these things provide good resources for someone who loves the mountain lifestyle to grow their business here.”
The next step is building the list of businesses to engage. Mr. Kleinsorge noted that businesses who are already familiar with the market are more likely to move than those who aren’t. “Providing contacts of CEOs who have expressed interest in moving here would be very helpful to the success of this campaign.”
“Ultimately, this business relocation campaign isn’t about Durango and La Plata County growing faster; it’s about growing better,” said Mr. Zalneraitis. He continued to say “this proactive campaign compliments our efforts at supporting start-ups, as well as existing businesses, to diversify our economy and create good paying jobs and career opportunities here.”
About the La Plata Economic Development Alliance: The La Plata County Economic Development Alliance is a 501(c)6 whose mission is to help for individuals looking to start, own, grow, or relocate their business to La Plata County, by providing advocacy, relevant information, and resources at the local, state and national level. It was founded in 2011 and has over 150 investors in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. More information about the Alliance and the business relocation campaign is available from Roger Zalneraitis at email@example.com or 970-259-1700.
About the World Economic Development Alliance: WEDA is a full-service economic development marketing firm specializing in helping economic developers grow their communities, while helping expanding or relocating companies with their site-location needs. WEDA was founded in 1994 by Eric Kleinsorge. Today, WEDA provides services ranging from website design to email marketing, social media support to trade show representation, all exclusively for economic development organizations around the US. More information about WEDA is available from Brooke Edwards at 469-778-2606 Ext 3 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.