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For Immediate Release
PEP IMPLEMENTS STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
LAMAR, CO – The BEAR has arrived… With Prowers Economic Prosperity’s (PEP) annual meeting on Monday, March 4th completed, the Board of Directors has revealed its updated strategic plan in four major priorities and action steps. While PEP’s first strategic plan was pivotal in reorganizing economic development activity in Prowers County and setting a direction, it needed a refresh and more specifics to bring it to life. The new plan accomplishes this. Board members, staff, and community stakeholders all have a role and responsibilities in accomplishing the plan.
BEAR is the first and most important priority. The Business, Expansion, Attraction and Retention program will work directly with Prowers county businesses to retain and strengthen them, determining their needs and providing assistance. PEP will work to retain and expand the businesses that we have, to maintain existing jobs and add workforce and jobs. Along the way, it will seek to protect and improve our business environment and enhance available incentives for new job creation.
Utilizing our prime location and identified opportunities, BEAR will identify and recruit businesses in targeted industries to relocate or add satellite sites. Having a plan of action will give PEP staff and board members actionable steps to follow to accomplish its goals for the retention and creation of jobs and investment in Prowers County.
Another significant PEP priority is Quality of Life. While this effort is focused on improving the overall quality of life of Prowers County residents, the initial focus will be on housing. Three primary objectives will include increasing affordable housing in the $100,000 -150,000 range, quality rentals for new families, and active-senior living space. This committee will be working with Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development, Inc. (SECED) and other governmental entities to identify programs for the rehabilitation of dilapidated properties to put existing abandoned houses back into use as well as sources of funding for doing so. Attracting Opportunity Zone investments in Prowers County will also allow private investors to build new housing. The committee’s next steps will be to find ways to identify available land, incentivize contractors to build in Prowers County, and research affordable modular home options.
The third priority is increased Community Awareness and Marketing. Although much of the work that PEP staff and directors do must be confidential to protect the interests of PEP’s clients, the Board of Directors recognize that PEP has the opportunity to be more open with what it is doing and the progress that it is making in serving Prowers County. Action steps include creating marketing materials for prospects interested in Prowers County as well as individuals and businesses seeking PEP’s assistance;
increasing targeted advertising; and community outreach. Creating a list of active Prowers County businesses, increasing use of social media, publishing a regular newsletter, and holding more PEP-sponsored events – from professional development trainings to town halls and business afterhours, are part of this priority area. Most importantly, PEP seeks to engage businesses and community members in creating a more optimistic, collaborative environment that is open to business and entrepreneurs.
The fourth priority is the long-term Organizational Sustainability of PEP because every single business, government entity, educational system, non-profit, and individual in Prowers County is a stakeholder in the work of PEP. In order to engage everyone and keep the work of PEP relevant and meaningful, the committee will be working on ways to diversify and increase the member base so every stakeholder group participates; strengthen PEP’s financial sustainability so there are resources to expand, attract, and retain businesses as well as improve the quality of life; and grow a self-sustaining pool of business incentive funds in order to provide opportunities for new and existing industries. Action steps include creation of different membership categories, formation of a membership committee, outreach to potential members, establishing strategies for increasing incentive funds, and development of processes for requesting and repaying funds. As noted during the sustainability presentation, PEP is not somebody else; PEP is everyone in Prowers County.
Community members with ideas, expertise, or passion for particular priority area are encouraged to contact PEP to join a priority committee.
A final copy of the updated strategic plan will be posted on the prowerspep.org site once action steps within priorities have been finalized. For business assistance or to become involved in PEP, contact us at 719.336.1929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.