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Bozeman updating economic development plan | Economy |

It has been over 7 years since the economic development plan has been updated for the City of Bozeman -it was last updated in the middle of the Recession – it will be interesting to see where they go with this next iteration of the plan.

The city of Bozeman will soon update its economic development plan for the first time since 2009.The new plan will summarize the last seven years, examine the area’s economic landscape and identify goals for continued business and wage growth.“Since 2009, it hasn’t been a standard curve here. All the changes that were associated with the economic crisis have impacted this area,” said Brit Fontenot, economic development director for the city.

“Since conditions on the ground have changed, it seemed like a good time (to update the plan).”

On Monday, the City Commission will vote to contract the project to Portland, Oregon-based Leland Consulting Group. If approved, the group hopes to draft a new plan by the end of September.

The 2009 plan, the city’s first attempt at economic development strategy, was “aspirational” and in need of an update, Fontenot said.

“The effort was a good one, but some of the pieces in it were hard to measure,” he said. “It was a little bit squishy in that way.”The new language should focus on the city’s role in developing infrastructure to encourage economic growth, he added.

“I’m a firm believer that infrastructure is the key to the city’s development. That’s what we do best,” Fontenot said, citing the city-backed fiber project and several urban renewal efforts. “If you don’t have good roads and pipes, no one is going to want to come to your town.”

Economic development agencies Prospera Business Network, the Northern Rocky Mountain Economic Development District and the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce, as well as several private entrepreneurs, will be included in the consulting process.

In addition to infrastructure, the city’s goals for the plan include augmenting the growing photonics, outdoor and high-tech industries, as well as increasing wages.
Source: Bozeman updating economic development plan | Economy |