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News

Brighton EDC News & Updates

By Brighton EDC 07 Mar, 2017

Change seems to be the operative word in Brighton, but with change comes opportunity.

Brighton has seen its fair share of change and growth over the past 20 years, more than doubling the population from roughly 15,000 in 1995 to just under 40,000.     This growth has seen Brighton evolve from a small, agricultural town on the outskirts of the Denver metro area to a medium-sized city growing as fast as any city in Colorado.

Change has been an unstoppable force for some time now, and outside of the rapid growth, the city is facing one of its most pivotal changes due to the retirement of veteran city manager Manuel Esquibel.     Mr. Esquibel has been key in creating and directing the vision of what Brighton is going to be over the next 20 years, and it is showing now more than ever with the continued growth from both a commercial and residential standpoint.

As previously mentioned, the population growth over the past 20 years has changed Brighton fundamentally, and with rapid growth come increased needs. Recognizing the need to plan responsibly, the city of Brighton recently adopted the “Be Brighton Comprehensive Plan,” a document that describes and illustrates a vision for the physical, social, and economic characteristics of the community in the years ahead and outlines the principles, policies and strategies intended to implement that vision.

From a planning perspective, plans like these are instrumental in how cities prepare for the next iteration of their community. Brighton’s plan does a great job of capturing what Brighton has been, and maintains the small-town feel that residents are accustomed to, while planning for the “big-town” challenges that Brighton face in the very near future.

Looking at commercial and residential growth trends in Colorado, it is no secret that development is moving further and further north. The amount of available land, reasonably priced housing and good access to major interstates has driven development to the north metro area and beyond. That trend will only increase as Colorado continues to be an attractive place to live, work and play.

With nearly 50 percent of its land mass yet to be developed, Brighton presents a very attractive option for development, thanks to careful visioning and leadership over the past 10 years, and Brighton is ready to change as a city. It’s already evident when you look at the energetic new retail popping up all over town, specifically at the Prairie Center, Brighton’s regional power center, and in the heart of the city from historic downtown to South Main Street.

Additionally, Brighton houses the largest available building in Colorado, the former Sears/Kmart distribution center that is 1.3 million square feet of available space. A building this size is a rarity not only in our region but also nationally, and the opportunities that can be realized at the site have piqued the interest of a whole host of national companies looking to expand while capturing all that Colorado has to offer.

As Brighton looks at its next phase as a city, all of the planning and visioning will allow the city to prosper indefinitely, even as the city itself faces prompt change. It’s no coincidence that Brighton is an attractive place to start a family or relocate a business, and with all of the opportunity that awaits the city, Brighton is ready to tackle the change and embrace it. Developers are always looking for the next big thing and in Brighton, we are confident that the next big thing is already here.

Michael Martinez is executive director of the Brighton Economic Development Corp. He can be reached at 303-655-2165 or via email at   MPMartinez@brightonedc.org .

By Brighton EDC 07 Mar, 2017

The New Year is a time of new beginnings, new resolutions, and new ideas. This is the time of year we see more people looking to start a new business. We are here to help. Over the years we have found when someone has an idea they want to jump to the finish line as quickly as possible. What we find is sometimes our budding entrepreneurs jump too soon. They grow impatient going through the legal steps, and just want to get started.  The goal of the entrepreneur is to get started and start making money; lots of money!

Our goal is to help entrepreneurs start and manage sustainable enterprises. Although the process is cumbersome, we have learned there needs to be a predictable method to starting and growing. For this reason we have created the new Lean Launch Program for Small Business using the methods in The Lean Startup - By Eric Ries.

One of the main premises of Ries is entrepreneurs need to learn how to build a sustainable business. Generally a person starts a business then works long hard hours to make it successful or watch it fail. Ries argues, an organizations first needs to learn as quickly as possible what the marketplace values enough to pay for. Once they have this information they are able to adapt their business and grow. This is known as validated learning.

We agree with Ries. Business owners need to build, measure and learn before opening the doors to business. The faster a person can get through this process the better the chances of starting and running a successful business because you enter the marketplace with an understanding of what the market can bare and who the real customer is. Many start-ups waste too much time trying to market to the wrong customer segment.

Lastly the measurements you establish in the beginning mark where your business development is at all times. Setting goals against these measurements sets the company on the right road to attaining success.

Introducing a program through the Brighton SBDC will assist startups in figuring out where they are in the process, help them confront the cold hard facts and then design experiments to move the numbers closer to where they want their business to be. The learning milestones of this new program will establish the baseline for startups, help them fine tune before launching and help them realize if they need to pivot or continue marching toward their business launch.

 THE LEAN LAUNCH PROGRAM includes a series of training workshops/seminars to enhance the successful launch or expansion of a small business in the least amount of time feasible. Each peer group covers a one month period of trainings and at least 5 hours of one on one consultations to validate their idea is viable and sustainable and to identify the right customers to market the product or service.  The first session in January/February started with 6 participants most who had already started their businesses and had been struggling to grow from one to three years. After the program most stated they had not only learned where they had made their mistakes, they now understood what needs to happen so they can grow their business and start experiencing the success they have been seeking.

One testimonial from a program participant, “I very much enjoyed our class time together and give you a Five Star review”! Another participant stated, “I am so glad you convinced me I needed this program. I learned so much and now know I can become the CEO instead of just being the skilled laborer in my business”.

Dates for the April Session are: April 7th, 14th, 21st and the Bonus BizModel Workshop will be held on April 28th. To register for the program visit: www.northmetrosbdc.com and click on the Brighton tab under workshops/trainings or call or email Teri Sanchez 303-655-2150 tsanchez@brightonedc.org

By Brighton EDC 07 Mar, 2017

Have you ever heard the term “Business retention and expansion (BRE)?” The phrase is most often used by economic development professionals to describe programs and services being offered to help local businesses in a particular community prosper and grow. BRE efforts can vary from community to community depending on the business environment.

The Brighton Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has recently launched new plans to address Brighton’s unique BRE needs.

In 2017, The Brighton EDC will increase efforts to communicate with the business community to find out what Brighton businesses need to help them succeed. This will include one-on-one visits to businesses, surveys and other methods to get valuable feedback.

The Brighton EDC has already begun to strengthen partnerships, and establish new ones, with organizations that provide resources to businesses such as financing, business planning and technical assistance.

Among the most important partners is the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Located in our office, the SBDC provides individual counseling, classroom training, and a plethora of other critical services for startups and small companies.

Other partners, including Accion, Colorado Enterprise Fund, and Colorado Lending Source, offer access to capital through financing assistance for all kinds of startups and small businesses, including those who may not qualify for bank loans.

Partners like TiE Rockies and Rockies Venture Club provide access to mentoring as well as opportunities to attract investment from venture capitalists and angel investors.

Last but not least, we can connect you with the Adams County Workforce and Business Center who can help you find qualified candidates for any positions you are looking to fill, and they also offer training programs.

These are just a handful of the organizations in our “tool box” we can connect you to.

Additionally, the Brighton EDC will be presenting value-adding events designed to introduce Brighton businesses to available programs and services as well as deliver learning opportunities in areas important to small business, in particular. Look for some great events in Brighton during National Small Business Week May 1 – 5, and Brighton Business Week October 2 – 6.

Please contact Patrick Giron, assistant director of the Brighton EDC, at pgiron@brightonedc.org if you have any questions or suggestions regarding BRE in Brighton.

By Brighton EDC 07 Mar, 2017

It’s an exciting time in School District 27J. The district is celebrating the results from the Colorado Department of Education’s release of school and district accountability ratings. For the first time since the state began administering the ratings in 2010, the district has no traditional-enrollment schools on Priority Improvement or Turnaround status.

In state performance ratings, 11 district schools and five 27J charter schools received the Performance rating category, which is the highest among the four standardized test ratings.

Kindergarten reading scores have also increased due to a new reading curriculum called Superkids being taught in kindergarten and first grade classrooms. 27J teachers and literacy coaches credit a 44 percent increase in kindergarten reading scores to the new reading program.

The district has recently added more educational options to meet the learning needs of students. This year, a school for gifted and talented students opened for grades K-5 at Pennock Elementary. Called Achieve Institute, the program is now offered as a school-within-a-school program. Achieve Institute will expand into middle school for sixth grade next year at Vikan Middle School.

Also, high school students can earn college credit while taking concurrent courses during high school. Some high school classes for college credit are taken at the high schools, while other 27J students attend college classes at Front Range Community College in Brighton.

School District 27J is also partnering with parents, community members and staff members for a discussion about funding for education as state funds are being cut. A 25-member committee is meeting through April to study and evaluate a potential mill levy override question on the November 2017 ballot.

Thanks to voters, a $248 million bond was approved in 2015. The bond will fund upgrades at schools and allow for the construction of four new schools in the district. 27J will construct two new elementary schools, a new middle school and a high school with bond funds.

Two schools are already under construction. Reunion Elementary School is being constructed in the Reunion neighborhood in Commerce City. That school is planned to open in August. A third comprehensive high school for the district broke ground last summer. The high school is now under construction and scheduled to open in fall 2018.

Another elementary school is planned to be built and open in fall 2020 in Brighton Crossings neighborhood, near Bridge Street and 50th Avenue. The land has been purchased for a site to construct Middle School No. 5. This school is planned to open in fall 2020.

For more information about School District 27J, visit www.SD27J.org or email Communications@SD27J.net . If you have other questions about the district, call 303-655-2900.

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