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Greeley Tribune, Colo., Nate Miller Column

July 21, 2008

By Nate Miller, Greeley Tribune, Colo.

Jul. 21–It can be pretty hard to stay positive about the business climate these days. Virtually every day, it seems like the headlines bring us more bad news about the economy.

One headline last week, however, was different.

The Greeley/Weld Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes most of Weld County, ranks 25th nationally in best places to start a new business. This is good news for Greeley and the surrounding areas.

Not only does Weld rank in the top 25 according to Inc.com’s annual list of the Best U.S. Cities for Doing Business Today, but it moved up 14 spots from its 2007 ranking. The Greeley area was second in Colorado. The highest ranked Metropolitan Statistical Area was Grand Junction, which came in at No. 11.

This news is certainly something to be proud of, and it indicates things are likely not as bad as they may sometimes appear. This news comes on the heels of an announcement in March that Forbes Magazine had identified the Greeley area as the No. 1 Metropolitan Statistical Area in the country for five-year income growth. In November 2007, the Milken Institute pointed to the Greeley/Weld Metropolitan Statistical Area as No. 10 in the nation for one-year job growth.

Additionally, the Greeley area has seen some significant economic gains recently. The much anticipated announcement in June that Leprino Foods Co. will locate a cheese factory in Greeley and the announcement last week that Sam’s Club is Evans has begun hiring 170 employees for an October opening both point to positive economic momentum for the area.

All of this is, of course, good news. It is important that we celebrate it. It indicates that, despite some struggles, the economy in Weld is doing better than much of the country.

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