Vail Daily column: Help build a stronger business community | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Help build a stronger business community

Vail Valley Partnership, your community development organization, plays a critical role in supporting you, your business and the local economy through proactively creating and enhancing connections throughout the valley and advocating for business locally and throughout the state.

With a membership base that is 850 members strong, the Vail Valley Partnership’s efforts benefit the community through three distinct yet connected initiatives. Through the Regional Chamber of Commerce initiative, Vail Valley Partnership works to provide resources, information, advocacy and savings in order to enhance the vitality of member businesses. Through the Destination Marketing initiative, Vail Valley Partnership group sales efforts result in valley-wide visitor promotion and regional event recruiting with a total economic impact in 2015 of over $41 million. Our Economic Development initiative works to ensure that the Vail Valley’s economic health stays strong for years to come.

As a business owner and operator, you play an integral part in building a stronger business community. Our community can choose an intentional path by continuing to invest in Vail Valley Partnership membership to support both our economic development efforts and continuing to engage in local chamber advocacy efforts in order to build a foundation for business success. This is a long-term effort, it takes time, we’re building the momentum and we can’t do it without the continued engagement and involvement of the business community.

Here in Colorado, a majority of all property taxes paid in the state are paid by businesses. The Gallagher Amendment mandates that businesses pay a property tax assessment rate of 29 percent while residential rates are annually adjusted to hold a 45/55 split in the state’s total property tax burden between residential and nonresidential property. Currently, the residential property tax assessment rate is 7.96 percent.

This is important because it makes it clear that business makes the world go round. If local business performance and investment is down, local sales tax and property tax revenues decline – negatively impacting our local schools and the quality and availability of services offered by local governments. When tax revenue is down, local public programming, upon which many families depend, isn’t funded, and quality of life declines. What’s this mean to the business community? The first line of defense in solving many of the social needs that exist in Eagle County is through the availability and growth of good, well-paying jobs.

Your membership is essential to our efforts. Vail Valley Partnership’s efforts comprise an intentional, proactive attempt to support our business community and work towards qualitative improvements in local economic outcomes. We are blessed with a robust and thriving tourism economy, but our dependence on tourism creates risks and challenges, including low average weekly wages, highly seasonal business and employment cycles and housing affordability challenges that cannot be solved as our economy is currently structured. Our continued advocacy efforts are designed to support our leading industries and provide a regional voice to policymakers, and our economic development work is designed to actively build communities that are supportive of diverse local employers, attractive to new ones and encouraging of entrepreneurship.

It’s not only support of advocacy efforts and economic development programming; being a member of Vail Valley Partnership can be an invaluable asset to your professional and business growth. The networking and visibility opportunities the Partnership offers, combined with an increased voice in local, regional, and state issues, makes joining the Partnership good business sense.

We are excited to continue our track record of providing statewide advocacy efforts, economic development programming, destination marketing, and chamber benefits (networking, cost savings, educational programs) to the Vail Valley business community. We’re equally excited to add new programming in 2016 including our Next Vail Valley emerging leader program, 12@12 industry cluster meetings, and a revamped Vail Valley Business Forum quarterly education series.

At Vail Valley Partnership, we believe that every business is integral to the success of the valley as a whole. As such, our membership levels are structured to accommodate large and small businesses, emerging enterprises, and nonprofit organizations. To view membership options, along with extensive member benefits and programming, visit http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com/join/becoming-a-member.

Businesses benefit from chamber membership and community engagement. Membership in the Vail Valley Partnership is an investment in your business and in our community, whether you are looking for tangible and measurable benefits such as increased marketing and visibility, networking, educational programming, cost savings programs, or participation in signature programs, or if you are more concerned with more wide-ranging community benefits such as a voice in advocacy and economic development programming.

Contact our membership manager, Maren Cerimele, at maren@visitvailvalley.com or 970-477-4001, or visit our website at http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com, to learn more about the Partnership and our membership options.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.