Commerce City "We need to be sure that we are not left behind in ED..."

Commerce City "We need to be sure that we are not left behind in ED..."
Will we ever see Development @ the Prairie Gateway site in Commerce City, CO??? It has been years since the Commerce City Civic Center and Rapids stadium have been built and still no economic development. I guess patience is really a virtue.

Commerce City honors four business leaders during annual event


COMMERCE CITY – Four local business leaders were honored for their achievements and community contributions during the fourth annual Business and Investor Appreciation event held in Commerce City.

Over 120 attendees also took advantage of the meeting’s first resource fair, which invited 10 non-profits to answer questions on small business loans, business development, government contracting and other items of interest.

“The following four businesses and individuals represent the backbone of our community,” said Mayor Paul Natale. “Each has been instrumental in helping the city achieve our mission – which is to create a “Quality Community for a Lifetime.”

Awards were given in the following categories:

· Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Joel Cohen, Exodus Storage & Moving

· Company “On the Move” Award: Mile High Marketplace

· Small Business of the Year Award: La Casa del Ray

· Pam Downs Lilac Award: Jimmy Burds, COLOGRAPHIC, Inc.

Joel Cohen, Exodus Moving & Storage, Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

The award acknowledges the risks and perseverance required for entrepreneurs to be successful in today’s business environment. In a down economy, Mr. Cohen did what few others did – developing a plan to expand his business into new markets and recreating customer experience. Exodus Moving & Storage secured lucrative government contracts and took advantage of the Colorado Hire Patriots program to expand workforce by hiring veterans. Social responsibility is also a key element in the company’s business operations and supports a number of non-profit organizations such as Alternative to Violence, Habitat for Humanity, Realities for Children and SEAKR.

Mile High Marketplace, “On the Move” Award

The “On the Move” award recognizes companies that contribute in a positive way to the city’s economy and represent why Commerce City is the place to do business. When longtime employees became new owners in 2007, they expanded the Mile High Marketplace by supporting traditions and finding new offerings to entice customers. The company steadily expanded its workforce over the last two years to meet the growing needs of the business, employing more than 250 full- and part-time individuals. The Mile High Marketplace returned to its Commerce City roots when the property was annexed last year, donating items with area non-profit organizations.

La Casa del Ray, Small Business of the Year Award

The Small Business of the Year award salutes firms that represent 70 percent – the economic backbone – of the city’s business community. La Casa del Ray has been a staple of the community for more than 26 years, when it opened with four tables in 1986. Today, the company has 40 employees, and opened a second location in Salida this summer. La Casa del Ray also expanded their operations, with a new banquet facility in historic Derby.

Jimmy Burds, COLOGRAPHIC, Inc., Pam Downs Lilac Award

The Pam Downs Lilac Award recognizes a business or business professional that partners with the community, invests time and resources to build a “Quality Community” in Commerce City. The award is named in honor of a long-time economic development employee who lost her battle with cancer last year. In addition to the award, the recipient is bestowed with a lilac bush from Ms. Downs family, a recognition of her favorite flower.

Jimmy Burds was honored for his long-term participation with local partners to elevate Commerce City as one community. Burds and his company COLOGRAPHICS, Inc. actively sponsor and support community events such as Derby Daze, Fall Fest, and Winter Fest that bring businesses and community together.

His involvement in the Commerce City Business & Professionals Association helped expand his knowledge of community needs and focus business resources on improving graduation rates within local school districts. Burds was nominated by his peers to serve as the city’s business representative on the I-70 East collaborative team that determined future interstate expansion.

The city also updated attendees on the accomplishments of the economic development division during the morning event.

“It has been an amazing year thanks to our 1300 business,” said Brittany Morris, economic development director. “Our businesses make it happen and we look forward to another year working with each of them to implement our strategic goals and expand economic success.”