Many entities can provide growth link for economy
Over the next year, I intend to write weekly articles on an economic action plan for the Ogden area. Columns will include information on what's being done, why, by whom, when, how, where and at what cost.
My hope is to share with you on a real-time basis the actions that are being taken to aggressively grow our local economy. I view our end goal as jobs with competitive wages for everyone who wants to work.
From time to time, I will also share valuable lessons learned from my business career plus principles and best practices of successful organizations.
I salute Mayor Matthew Godfrey for his passion to bring businesses and jobs to Ogden. He and his team have worked tirelessly to accomplish this objective.
It is now time to take this effort to the next level with several interested parties. I propose that the next step should include individuals and organizations which likewise share a passion to help existing companies grow, to help new start-up firms launch and to attract companies from outside the area to locate in Ogden.
I see linkage between the Ogden City Council, Mayor Mike Caldwell and Weber County government leaders, Weber State University leadership and faculty, the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce, various financial institutions, the Applied Technology College, United Way, Hill Air Force Base, local professional investors, area businesses, both large and small, and citizens ready to develop their own new businesses. I am happy to report that, at this moment, several of these organizations are meeting to address our current and future economic environment.
With our end goal being jobs, I propose the following initial steps to achieve our ambitious objective:
* As a first step, we would do well to understand barriers to growth by talking to local business owners and entrepreneurs wishing to start a business to learn what impediments they face and what changes might be needed to accelerate the growth process. A meeting of the above-mentioned community organizations should be convened to hear what's on the minds of business owners. I believe Dave Hardman at the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce would be the right leader to organize such an event.
* Following this meeting, community leaders should re-assemble to analyze the major issues, taking into account the community's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as they relate to business growth and development. For the most part, we will be looking for gaps in our capabilities and possible solutions to improve our best assets, eliminate dangers and engage in favorable situations.
Subsequent meetings will focus on deciding the best solutions and evaluating the merits of each. I recommend Craig Bott of Grow Utah as the facilitator. He is an experienced, highly successful executive who has performed this assignment many times.
* The committee should then develop an action plan that can be implemented over a given period of time. The plan would be executed by various entities, each with a competency to complete a specific task.
* With a thoughtful plan in hand and with everyone on board, this economic committee would be in a position to announce its strategy to the entire community on how it plans to move forward.
* I believe superior execution of the plan will bring the desired results. Along the way, activities should be evaluated, measured and reported. My intent would be to write regular articles on the status of this endeavor.
I would enjoy hearing from you on this topic. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alan Hall is founder and chairman of Grow Utah, a not-for-profit entity with a mission of stimulating economic development through entrepreneurship.