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Buxton Reps Explain Company’s Role in Local Economic Development

 

Just over 62% of local revenue in Lamar is generated from non-resident sources, while $5M is spent out of the county each year for health and personal care issues, accountable for an area of major dollar leakage for the community. Those were two of the facts presented to Prowers Economic Prosperity board members during their monthly meeting, Tuesday, August 7th.

Cheyenne Robinson and Matt Tate, account executives with Buxton, the economic development firm hired by the City of Lamar two years ago, provided an update for the Lamar City Council Monday evening and the PEP board on Tuesday. One of Buxton’s tasks during its three year contract with PEP and the City, is to recruit new retail outlets to our community based on local marketing research on demographic needs and buying trends.  It also provides information for local businesses to increase their sales potential to the general buying public.

Robinson reviewed the way in which the buying statistics and demographic information is used to recruit franchises and businesses to focus on Lamar as a viable location. “Sometimes it’s not just a matter of a business locating in your community,” she explained, “but finding a person and necessary revenue to generate a franchise opportunity.”  She added Buxton contacts franchises which are on the lookout for someone to develop their business in a community if their requirements can be met.

Tate explained that even a ‘no’ response can be helpful to developing leads for marketing a community to a business. “We take that information and learn from it, finding ways to offer a better presentation the next time,” he said.  Tate said that sometimes it takes as many as four or five meetings or pitches to secure a foothold and develop a company’s interest in an area.  Buxton representatives work locally with community representatives such as Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Manager and Eric Depperschmidt, the PEP Executive Director, to list potential business developers for additional contacts.  Both Depperschmidt and Cue have attended past seminars and trade shows that attract as many as 40,000 visitors, seeking to match a community with a business.

Robinson explained that it took at least two years from an initial meeting with Dunkin Donuts to develop the franchise that began operations in the Pilot Truck Stop this past January. Tate added that it would be a good idea for local residents to frequent a new business operation and help support its livelihood, explaining that the revenues are examined as an indication of how well the venture is doing.  “The revenue reports are studied by the franchisee as well as other potential business ventures to see if it’s worth their while to locate to an area,” he said.

Depperschmidt recapped some developments for clients he has been working with for Prowers County including a food processing company looking for a site in the Holly area and a Denver firm which is also looking to locate to Prowers County. He added that the PEP board has been in contact with the new owners of Lamar Estates, formerly Sandhaven Nursing Home, on the status of the facility and any potential upgrades they may consider.  The Prowers County Commissioners, he said, are also developing their incentive package for the Holly Dairy Farm.  Talks are also on-going with a potential hotel developer for Lamar, based on a recent feasibility study.  He told the board, a retreat to review PEP’s Strategic Plan, could be held sometime in the 4th quarter of the year.  “It’s been three years since we had our summary from the PUMA group and it would be a good idea to take another look at it and see what changes, if any, are warranted,” he said.

Aaron Leiker, PEP President, mentioned that the September 4th meeting will feature Landon Gates who will discuss a statewide 0.62 percent sales tax increase to go on the 2018 ballot. The revenue generated from the sales tax will be used to help fund highway development for CDOT, and be used by local communities to help with local transportation needs.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of HollyCity of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeaturedHealthHousingTourismTransportation

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