DENVER-The Metro Denver Network, the economic development arm of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, has a new name and a new mission. Tom Clark, the president of the newly renamed Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., has taken his show on the road, addressing a number of groups, including the Colorado chapter of NAIOP, the University of Denver’s real estate program, and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

In order to bring and grow jobs in the metro area, the new corporation will launch a national marketing campaign, lobby for tax reform, fight for improved transit, tout the advantages of the Denver International Airport, and will help bolster existing businesses. One potential investor at a focus group told Clark that is time to “Stop hiding and start selling.”

Clark plans a primarily electronic campaign to communicating with potential prospects and key audiences. “Our print, radio and television efforts will focus on driving traffic to our web site,” Clark says. “While the electronic relationship is crucial to broaden our message, we will back it up with an aggressive, personal commitment to prospects, once direct contact is established.”

Clark says the only geographic market the Economic Development Corp. is going after is California. “We will explore the use of a direct sales person, either on payroll or contract, to provide direct outreach to Silicon Valley companies,” Clark says. “From a contractual perspective, costs would be lower. With a paid staffer, costs would be higher but accountability greater. Whether this strategy is viable is still a question. But we cannot dispute the advantages of such activities as another means of keeping metro Denver in front of our key Silicon Valley prospects.”

Most of the group’s efforts will be on retaining and growing existing businesses.”Virtually 75% of the chamber’s activities are focused on creating a better business climate for our existing businesses,” he notes.

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