Posted: February 10, 2011
Believing in economic recovery
Our members are making it happenBy Kelly Brough
Our Denver Metro Chamber members are an optimistic bunch. In a recent, informal survey, 55 percent of our members reported that they expect Colorado's economy to be better a year from now and only 8 percent expected it to get worse. We need that kind of positive thinking, and especially from our members who should know because they are the ones working hard in their businesses to make that economic recovery a reality.
Each year, we poll our members twice to get a feel for the issues that are important to them and their businesses. This year, job creation and economic development are top of mind for our members, with 35 percent of survey respondents who said "attracting and maintaining good paying jobs" should be the top priority of the new governor and administration; 27 percent felt "economic development" should be the No. 1 priority.
In addition, 71 percent of respondents reported that the "overall economy" was the most important priority for their company and 53 percent selected "job creation" as the top issue.
Our work at the Chamber in the past year or so has focused squarely on those two goals as we work to help Colorado regain its economic footing. Attracting and retaining strong companies results in more jobs for Colorado's citizens and a better overall economy.
Other issues that continue to remain high priorities for the Chamber include education, transportation and health care-all of which are vital components in creating and maintaining a healthy economic climate. Our members (43 percent) reported that the "availability of an educated workforce" is one of their top five company priorities (selected from a list of 25 business issues). A solid education system-from P through 20-is the key to that educated workforce.
Members (37 percent) also rank "health care coverage and insurance rates" as a top five concern. In the midst of national health care reform and the creation of health insurance exchanges on the state level, this issue will continue to impact businesses of all sizes.
We will continue to work with our members to not only discuss these important issues, but to convene the leaders and groups who can effect positive change in these areas. We will continue our work to educate our elected leaders about the business community's views on these issues.
Kelly J. Brough is the current president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. She previously served as the chief of staff and deputy chief of staff for Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. She also served as a personnel analyst and a legislative analyst for the City and County of Denver. Kelly has served on a number of boards and commissions, including the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation board. She has a bachelor's degree in sociology and criminal justice from Montana State University and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver.