Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Three Colorado Springs business groups form new alliance

By Ned Hunter Published: October 29, 2013

Business organizations in Colorado Springs have said in the past that they would work together to better the city's business climate, only to see the effort fall apart.

Tuesday brought another pledge for an alliance, but leaders of three Colorado Springs business organizations said they plan to do it right, promising they will not let each other's personal and organizational agendas destroy it.

The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, Small Business Development Center and the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado have agreed to jointly host and promote key community events and programs and share information with themselves and the business community beginning next year.

The idea is that organizations can improve their business events and operations by having one annual event calendar; reducing the number of events that are near-duplicate seminars; hiring better speakers from the money saved from fewer events; marketing events to a larger audience by sharing membership databases; and obtaining better feedback from attendees after events.

"Our ability to work together allows us to direct our resources and serve the business community better," said Joe Raso, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance. "But it also allows us to do what the community has charged us to do, such as in industry recruitment and legislative affairs."

The new coalition will start by working together to host events that the organizations had sponsored separately in the past, including the Evening in Tuscany, the Women in Business Reception and the Business Expo.

"We think there is a lot of duplication in the community when it comes to holding events, so we want to work together but keep the autonomy of each organization."" said Camille Blakely of Blakely + Company, a Colorado Springs marketing and advertising firm that handles public relations for the Better Business Bureau and was involved in discussions regarding the collaboration.

One person who attended the announcement event questioned the new alliance, telling the members: "I have seen this before, and it falls on its face because of one group's ego." The three leaders vowed to keep that from happening, and said the collaboration is expected to improve upcoming events and seminars.

"This is an amazing opportunity," said Kelly Manning, state director for the SBDC Network. "The benefit is that this is a clear and concise voice of what is going on."

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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