After reading the DCI article on the grant awarded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to Delta County for the ENGAGE project, I want to thank our county commissioners for supporting this effort. As commissioner Doug Atchley was quoted as saying: "ENGAGE will be a game changer for Delta County" and will put "Delta County on the map as the place to grow great ideas and businesses." The county commissioners have also been a huge support in getting behind the building of the high speed "Elevate" wireless infrastructure which is already bringing business growth and new entrepreneurs to our area.
I work on contract for the Small Business Development Corporation here in Delta County, and I have seen firsthand the new businesses that have been encouraged by the county's actions over the past two years. Using the resources of Region 10, and the Office of Economic Development, I have been able to help with startups by at least two laid off Oxbow miners, assisted three new ag-related businesses (goat farms and creameries, a vineyard/winery). I am also working with two expanding agriculture and agri-tourism related businesses, as well a startup small micro-brewery, which are hoping to hire additional employees by using the Enterprise Zone tax credits. In addition, I work with numerous retail and small internet software dependent companies who are moving here from the Front Range areas not only because of the lifestyle of agriculture and recreation, but because this encouragement of "great ideas and businesses" is having an effect on the perception of Delta County as a forward thinking small business friendly area.
Our region has been severely impacted by the declining coal industry -- and the ability of the Delta County commissioners to take advantage of the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities initiative speaks well for their leadership. They are helping to foster the new economy of Delta County.