Economic Opportunity

Strategic Plan Goal: Affordability & Economic Opportunity

Customer Service Strategy:

The Economic Opportunity Division is a division within the Community Development Department. This Division supports the overall Department vision of “Making Durango a Safe, Thriving & Authentic Place for Many Generations to Come.” in alignment with the City-wide Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategies in the Strategic Plan.

This Division is responsible for initiating and administering programs to accomplish community goals related to economic health, creative economy advancement, placemaking, job creation, diversification, small business support, and regional collaboration.

Core Functions:

  • Overseeing several grants programs
  • Managing the Lodger’s Tax Arts and Culture funding request program
  • Coordinating Bistro Table and Bump Out program
  • Long-range planning
  • Support the Code Alignment Working Group
  • Partnering with local commissions, improvement, creative and development districts

Budget by Strategic Plan Goal

FY 2023 Total Budget: $654,985

FY 2023 General Fund: $ 654,985

Total FTE's: 4

Performance Results:

Changes in key industry sectors, such as technology, clean manufacturing, aerospaceTrack annual changes in number of firms and employees in specific industry clusters.

Number of first-time business owners The number of business owners who are starting a business for the first time and have chosen to do so in the City of Durango.

Business Retention The number of businesses that are retained in the City of Durango.

Arts and Culture Funding Through the newly created Lodger’s Tax: Arts and Culture funding and other sources, measure the number of organizations funded and dollar amount distributed to support arts and culture development. Measuring also outcomes from the funding to include expansion of programs.

Public Art Total number of public art pieces made available to Durango residents and visitors.

Public Realm and Streetscape Activation Ensure flexibility in use of public realm and streetscapes by creating infrastructure to safely support activation of public spaces.

Create Memorable Community Gathering Spaces Increase the number of unique and functional public spaces for the community to gather.

Budget by Type:

Source of Funds:

Strategic Operating Actions:

2.3 Engage partners, such as the Durango Public Library, Small Business Development Center, the Economic Development Alliance, and Chamber of Commerce, to expand available business resources and assistance for the community.

2.3.1 Strengthen the role of the Economic Opportunity Coordinator as a Strategic Partner/Liaison between the business community and the City by exploring options for creating a ‘One Stop Shop’ for small businesses needing assistance on City services and investigating other strategies.

2.4 Identify and support opportunities to expand clean manufacturing, technology, and other value-added business ventures.

3. Support economic vitality and advancement opportunities in ways that enhance community character and resiliency

3.1 Increase business retention by supporting existing groups that work with and advocate for solopreneurs and other local business ventures.

3.2 Support business development and expansion proposals to add jobs annually to the economy.

3.3 Reduce barriers for established and new businesses to encourage new investment and longevity.

3.3.1 City staff to meet with developers and emphasize how best to assure the completion of projects.

3.3.2 Leverage business enhancement grants to make properties more readily available to small businesses.

3.4 Implement programs that support the expansion of Durango’s creative economy.

3.4.1 Continue guiding and coordinating Creative Economy Commission’s partnership with the Durango Creative District.

3.4.2 Oversee efficient and effective distribution of the Arts and Culture portion of the Lodgers’ Tax revenue.

2022 Strategic Results:

  • Implemented the Main Avenue Bump-Out Program.
  • Administered $30,000 in Durango Creates! Grants, $45,000 in RE:NEW Grants, and $550,000 in LTAC Funding to local businesses and property owners.
  • Requested $9M in federal funding for Main Ave Reconstruction.
  • Installed two new City-owned public art pieces.
  • Led discussions to create the Lodger’s Tax: Arts and Culture Funding Request through the Lodger’s Tax ballot measure.
  • Created and administered the review process for the granting of Lodger’s Tax: Arts and Culture revenue.
  • Initiated the process with the Creative Economy Commission to update the Public Art Master Plan.
  • Facilitated an engagement process for the Downtown’s Next Steps planning process and incorporated business owner input.
  • Created and delivered the City Council-approved conceptual plan for the reconstruction of Main Avenue to theTransportation Department

2023 Strategic Deliverables:

  • Funded and continue implementation of the RENEW and Durango Creates! Grant programs.
  • Coordinated the successful installation of the public art piece Common Threads.
  • Partnered with BID, City Departments, downtown stakeholders, and the broader community to design the future of Main Avenue.
  • Enhanced the role of the Economic Opportunity Coordinator to a Strategic Partner/Liaison between the business community and the City
  • In partnership with the County, Economic Development Alliance, and other community partners, continued implementing the La Posta infrastructure investment strategy and advance annexation of certain parts of the La Posta Area.
  • Used existing CEC’s Public Art Master Plan framework and DCD’s Cultural Plan to expand the reach and impact of the Lodger’s Tax: Arts and Culture Funding.
  • Engaged in outreach with business owners to create more comprehensive, accessible, and diverse resources for community members with English as a second language.
  • Created an easier, more straightforward process for permitting food trucks around Durango.
  • Continued hosting the Design and Development Awards to encourage and highlight outstanding projects.
  • Updated long range plans, including Character Districts and Comp Plan, to help guide development.

Service Enhancements:

The Division expanded utilization of the CitySuite permitting software which inlcuded online payments for planning and building permit fees via Invoice Cloud for improved customer service. and updating permit forms, statements, and reports. Both were additions to our current software maintenance contract and are estimated to cost approximately $10,000.

Service Reductions:

Maintaining current service levels

2022 Positions:

2023 Positions