New Group to Promote Southern Colorado

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Top business leaders from Pueblo and Colorado Springs have formed a new partnership to champion Southern Colorado’s economy.  The region’s chambers of commerce and economic development agencies will participate in a regional group called the Southern Colorado Business Partnership, the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper reports.

A regional group already exists in Northern Colorado, linking the Fort Collins and Greeley areas. The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and other groups play a similar role in the Denver area.

“There’s strength in numbers,” Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce President Rod Slyhoff told the Chieftain. The organizations that currently participate represent more than 4,000 businesses and 140,000 workers, group members said.

Pueblo Economic Development Corp. Chair Ken Conyers likened the group to a business version of Action 22, the 22-county lobbying group that monitors a wide range of issues in the region. Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce President David Csintyan noted heavy competition for jobs from Denver and Northern Colorado and said the new group puts the southern region “on a level playing field” with the other alliances in the state.

The regional group is an outgrowth of the former Pikes Peak Regional Business Partnership in Colorado Springs, members said. The Pikes Peak group recently extended an invitation to Pueblo’s business community, including the Latino Chamber of Commerce, to team together and change the group’s name to reflect a more regional scope. The group also added the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp.

The group will host periodic meetings and forums on business issues, conduct joint studies on economic development and join on lobbying initiatives. Other plans include a possible regional summit on business and economic development.

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