Turning Point for SEBREA in S.E. Colorado

SEBREA, Southeast Business Retention, Expansion and Attraction, may get a second wind this fall with more funding promised from the six southeastern counties that comprise the business development organization. 

SEBREA’s initial three-year funding source was discontinued two years ago, but the group’s representatives have continued to meet monthly in La Junta, but have subsisted on limited funding.  The economic development focus had been running on two levels, initially, to develop a master information source for business needs and expectations in the southeast part of the state.  The other area of interest strived to maintain a viable presence in developing contacts for establishing a locally oriented electric transmission line project for the area.  Those actions made up the first three years of SEBREA’s existence.  Compiling business information is continuing on a smaller scale and the national recession and lack of funding has diminished plans to find a transmission line developer. 

Prowers County Commissioner, Gene Millbrand, said the executive board recently decided to ask for $5,000 from each of the six member counties in an effort to hire a full-time director who will be able to represent area business interests in Denver.  Some smaller counties may not be able to budget that amount to SEBREA beyond their limited, annual pledges.  Millbrand said all six counties have eventually come to develop a partnership, believing more can be accomplished through combined regional interests, instead of each county working on isolated business projects.  The six economic development directors, along with all 18 county commissioners who have been invited, hope to determine a more aggressive future for SEBREA during their October 19 meeting.  Millbrand said the individual counties will use that time to work on a more focused plan on where SEBREA will focus its future efforts.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityEconomyFeaturedPolitics


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