Editorial: Invest now for future growth
Put the word “economics” in the title of anything and most eyeballs will glaze over.
It’s not the sexiest of topics, but it’s one of vital importance, as well as a hot button issue in our county.
How much growth is too much and how much effort should go into attracting new business?
Smart economic growth is something the leaders of the Quad Cities tangle with daily.
A city or town has only a certain amount of money to funnel into promoting their location to new businesses and into research on what will attract more of them.
So, pooling the region’s available economic promotion dollars for an organization like the Greater Prescott Regional Economic Partnership makes sense on paper.
What do they do? GPREP’s Dane Beck said, “The goal is to market the region to bring base jobs to the region.” Basically, the group works to generate interest of companies to relocate, or start up, here.
The organization is backed by Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt and Yavapai County, along with more than 20 businesses.
At this week’s Prescott City Council meeting, the debate arose as to how much, if any, money should be approved to keep Prescott a viable member of GPREP.
There were excellent arguments for and against using $40,000 from the general fund:
AGAINST: Prescott could use that money to hire another code enforcement or firefighter or police officer.
FOR: Prescott cannot be left out of the economic plans for the future of the area.
Ultimately the decision was approved to fund Prescott’s full $40,000 to GPREP.
Will the city see a payoff in the near future? Probably not since economic wheels grind slowly, but it only takes that one large employer, or a few smaller ones, to tip that investment into the right margin.
Two smart points came from the council discussion: the city requires a sustainable source for this funding in the future and the city needs to be involved in the hiring of the new GPREP director. The council must make these two things happen.
Investing in the future is sometimes a gamble, but this is one that the city needed to take.