Business outlook bright for 2013

Area businesses charge ahead, new businesses enter

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If recent announcements from Visa and Redwood Trust – which are bringing a combined 950 new jobs to Douglas County – are any indication of how the area business landscape is shaping up in 2013, it looks to be a good year.

“We’re very positive going into 2013,” said Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce President LaRae Marsik. “In addition to new business coming in, we are already seeing businesses act earlier in the year around growth plans; whether it is opening new locations, changing locations or working on engagement strategies. People are being very proactive and innovative.”

Marsik said that across the board, local businesses had tightened their belts and lowered expectations over the past few years. For that, she added, those companies are now reaping some benefits.

“Is it artificial because they had gotten so tight? Is it sustainable?” she asked. “I’ll tell you what, nobody is holding their breath waiting.

“In other pockets there is a great fear of trepidation, a lot of pause buttons being pressed – whether it’s because of health care, spending cuts, or taxation increases. But while everyone is waiting for those answers, we continue to see Highlands Ranch businesses put their noses to the grindstone and come up with creative business approaches. People aren’t waiting for those answers to come from other sectors. They are focused on what is in front of them and I think that’s a good thing.”

As businesses continue to pop up in and around Town Center, nearby things are improving as well.

“As far as attracting business prospects, we have a lot of activity in the buildings that are up for lease along the Highway 85 corridor,” said Amy Sherman, president of the Northwest Douglas County Economic Development Corporation.

Sherman couldn’t comment on who the prospects were as nothing is official as of yet, but she said that a lot of manufacturing and industrial businesses are looking at space right now along the corridor.

“I think that will be even more attractive as a corridor as we fix the infrastructure needs there,” she said, adding that a lot of the necessary infrastructure improvements are either already in progress or in the planning stages for the area.