Although agriculture continues to be the major industry in east central Colorado, it is becoming ever more fragile. It is ECCOG's goal to strengthen this segment of our local economy, while at the same time encouraging economic diversification.
Tourism is an excellent alternative and ECCOG has worked to develop tourist information centers and highway rest areas on the Plains, to increase local areas' awareness of their own attractions, and to market this region through brochures and other means. ECCOG also maintains a high profile and involvement in tourism efforts on the travel region and statewide levels.
ECCOG assists communities with main street revitalization projects and with applications for economic development funds. An on-going achievement of ECCOG was the creation of the nonprofit Prairie Development Corporation (PDC). Together, ECCOG and PDC created a revolving loan fund for business development, now capitalized at more than three million dollars, and a second loan fund for increasing the stock of affordable housing for area residents having moderate or lower incomes.
ECCOG and PDC also promote the area through the Our Journey heritage tourism marketing program. If you're looking for some fun on Colorado's Central Plains, click here!
Designation of this region as one of Colorado's rural enterprise zones provides more than one million dollars annually in state income tax credits to area farms, ranches and other businesses, in return for creating new jobs, retaining existing jobs, or making capital investments in the area.
Oil and gas exploration in the area continues to go through the "boom and bust" cycles, and ECCOG has been able to help local governments address problems created by both.
East Central Enterprise Zone Contribution
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) (2009-2014)
The draft of the East Central Council of Local Governments 2015-2020 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne County is available below. Your review and comments are very important. Please contact us with questions, suggestions, changes, etc. The final draft will be amended to reflect input from around the Region. It must then be forwarded to the Economic Development Administration by June 30. We need your feedback by June 26th. Please submit written comments to Jo Downey at ECCOG by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 719-348-5562 and speak to Candace Payne if you want to submit your comments orally.
Because most of the small towns in the region have limited resources and small paid staffs, ECCOG staff is able to provide assistance in circulating information, preparing various reports and other paperwork, and applying for grants. Over the years, ECCOG has directly leveraged more than $14 in federal and state grants for every $1 of local funds used for ECCOG projects, and has assisted in obtaining more than $12 million in direct grants for its individual municipality and county members.