STATE OF INDUSTRY REPORT AND ELEVATE 2021 SURVEY RESULTS

LONGMONT, CO (January 4, 2022) – The results of the State of Industry Report and ELEVATE 2021 Survey, published by Longmont Economic Development Partnership (Longmont EDP), are in.

The report includes robust economic indicators (such as gross regional product, labor force, and commercial and residential real estate) that showed that Longmont’s post-pandemic recovery is well underway. Labor force participation is at an all-time high, unemployment is dropping, company earnings are up across all sectors, and the changing economic landscape in the U.S. has opened new markets from which the community will be able to attract the kinds of talent needed by its main industries.

The ELEVATE 2021 survey, which includes both survey responses and executive roundtable feedback from primary employers, surfaced four main challenge areas: affordable housing, cost of living, talent supply shortages, and regional connectivity and transportation.

  • Respondents ranked housing affordability and cost of living as the top issues impacting their ability to successfully run a business and attract and retain employees.
  • Of respondents, 62 percent believed that housing affordability was one of the top three disadvantages of doing business in Longmont.
  • Nearly 60 percent also remarked that paying employees a competitive wage is their top retention challenge.
  • 26 percent of participants are willing to invest in regional transportation solutions.
  • Survey participants noted that because more than 76 percent of employees commute from outside Longmont and that more than half live outside of Boulder County, attracting and retaining employees was difficult.

The full survey can be downloaded here: https://longmont.org/elevate-longmont/

“Having a pulse on the challenges as well as the aspirations of Longmont’s business community is vitally important,” said Jessica Erickson, executive director of Longmont EDP. “The survey highlighted that despite myriad difficulties we all faced in 2020 and 2021 as we lived and worked through a historic health crisis, our community has a great deal to be thankful for and proud of. This information will allow us to streamline and apply a laser focus to our efforts and growth strategies for 2022.”

Longmont EDP classifies primary employers as those businesses that generate the majority of their revenue from outside of the region, bringing new dollars into the community in the form of tax revenue and wages supporting the growth of Longmont’s local economy.

The survey was distributed to primary local employers in early 2021 and was designed to identify industry trends, gather strategic intelligence, address concerns, identify new opportunities, and offer support. The results are used to inform LEDP’s future programs, initiatives, and policies.

The goals of the survey were twofold: to gauge the current state of the Longmont business environment, and to identify challenges and opportunities that our primary employers are facing or may face in the future. This data allows Longmont EDP to determine industry trends, gather strategic intelligence, identify concerns, discover new opportunities, and offer support to primary businesses that contribute so much to the economic vitality of Longmont.

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ABOUT Longmont EDP: A 501(c)6 non-profit organization founded in 1981, Longmont EDP is funded with both public and private dollars. More than 120 private sector businesses join the City of Longmont, Boulder County, and Platte River Power Authority as our economic partners. Longmont Economic Development Partnership leads a comprehensive approach to building an economic ecosystem that not only supports but champions businesses and their owners. From world-famous brewers to smart manufacturing plants, specialized business catalysts to world-class research facilities, our businesses in Longmont build an economy that champions growth, prosperity, and inclusion. Longmont’s newly launched economic development strategy, Advance Longmont 2.0, focuses on quality job creation and business investment. We activate a powerful civic infrastructure that identifies problems, creates innovative solutions, and implements these programs across partner organizations. For us, Advance Longmont means doing it together.

ABOUT ELEVATE LONGMONT: ELEVATE Longmont is Longmont EDP’s business retention and expansion program. Longmont EDP offers many services to existing primary employers including the provision of data insights & reports, incentive negotiations, administration of the North Metro Enterprise Zone, the City Leadership program, advocacy, and site selection services. Part of Longmont EDP’s efforts to promote a strong local economy includes contacting all of the Longmont area’s existing primary employers on a yearly basis to ENGAGE, LISTEN, EDUCATE, VALUE, ACKNOWLEDGE, TELL THE STORY and EXECUTE, through the ELEVATE program: the survey, Executive Roundtable discussions, and the State of Industry Report. The goal of these efforts is to identify industry trends, gather strategic intelligence, address concerns, identify new opportunities, and offer support. The results are used to inform Longmont EDP’s future programs, initiatives, and policies.

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“Longmont has been my home off and on since I moved to Colorado more than 12 years ago. I fell in love with the community and in 2015 decided to make it my permanent home. Because of the strong ties with the community, there was no question when I founded Rigid Bits in 2017 that it is where we would set our roots down. As an added bonus, NextLight is the fastest internet service provider in the country, which is a great fit for us.

Rigid Bits provides cybersecurity services to businesses nationwide, providing valuable insight to prevent attacks and respond immediately to cybersecurity events. Since 2017, we have supported 70 businesses across 17 states and a variety of industries. We have experienced 300% year-over-year growth with no signs of slowing down. Our plans are to continue to expand Rigid Bits’ services to support businesses in all industries with their cybersecurity needs, changing the way we work as the industry and threats change. As our growth continues, we will bring on new employees and just last month moved into larger office space in Longmont in preparation for our future”.

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