Grand Junction is open for business

The business of attracting and maintaining business in Grand Junction received a boost last week when Forbes.com listed this community as the 12th best small city in the country for business and careers.

Couple that with the CNBC.com report that tagged Colorado as the fifth best state in the country for doing business, and one might think companies would be pounding on the doors of Grand Junction officials, demanding they be allowed to move here.

That’s not how it works, of course. Companies looking to relocate or open new branches consider a myriad of factors to determine which community is best for them. And competition is fierce.

Some communities have gone overboard, offering tax breaks and property giveaways that could ultimately cost their residents more than any benefits accrued by bringing a new company to town. And some businesses look only at the dollars offered, planning to stay in a community only until their incentives are exhausted.

But for those businesses seriously investigating communities where they can operate for the long term — and for businesses already here looking to expand — the Forbes.com report offers a variety of reasons to place a high value on Grand Junction.

The cost of living is still relatively low in Grand Junction.

Mesa State College, soon to become Colorado Mesa University, offers a wide variety of programs for both full-time students and those seeking to enhance skills related to their careers.

The availability of a quality workforce, migration in and out of a community and quality of life also played a part in the ranking.

Quality of life is one of the intangibles that makes Grand Junction a great place to live. As we have noted many times, few communities of any size can offer the great access to such a variety of natural resources and outdoor recreation as Grand Junction can.

In addition, there is the neighborly atmosphere in this community. One business owner who moved here from the Front Range told The Daily Sentinel’s Emily Anderson that conducting business here is more “relationship-based,” less dog-eat-dog than where he previously operated.

On top of all this, there is the fact that this community has suffered frequent booms and busts in the past, and is eager to embrace new businesses that can provide stability with regard to that boom-bust cycle. That doesn’t mean people here are willing to sell the farm to any company promising jobs, regardless of its demands or environmental consequences. But it does indicate people are more driven than folks in many small communities to attract businesses that are appropriate for this area, and are intent on working together to make that happen.

Colorado’s business-friendly tax structure, albeit imperfect, as well as its access to business capital and technology, are additional assets for the effort to bring more businesses and jobs here.

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership, working with other local entities, has been determined for a long time to attract new businesses to the area and to help existing companies expand.

We hope the Forbes.com report, combined with the CNBC.com state ranking, will make it even clearer to firms here and around the country that Grand Junction is definitely open for business.


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