Earlier this summer the City Council asked staff to begin the process of developing a citywide economic development strategy which the Council could use to prioritize the spending of public money for such efforts. Over the past five years, the City of Loveland has taken a varied approach, such as offering financial assistance to the Small Business Development Center and giving cash incentives and fee waivers to companies that create primary jobs.
At a recent study session Dr. Martin Shields urged the Council to create a more specific strategic action plan for economic development in Loveland over the next five years. After his presentation, Shields said he thought the idea was gaining support from the Council, with the current economy providing an impetus to think more strategically. He added that in the short term, small businesses would provide the most immediate job growth. These businesses need predictable policy from elected officials and a loosening of capital from banks — in order to begin hiring again. In the long term he said, Colorado must invest in infrastructure and education.