Survey to reveal who sells what locally

Information will help develop regional plan, heritage tourism for Northwest Colorado

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To help Northwest Colorado producers better market their goods, information is being collected about who is selling what.

The Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service is compiling a list of the products and services produced in Northwest Colorado and is asking people involved with such businesses to fill out a survey.

The survey targets "cottage" or home-based enterprises, Routt County Agricultural Extension Agency C.J. Mucklow said, but all businesses are invited to return a survey and become part of the database.

The survey asks for a business name, address, phone number and e-mail address, as well as a description of products or services offered and how they are marketed.

The surveys will aid a larger effort to create a regional brand, which could help residents identify local products to create a regional marketing plan and to tie local products with cultural and heritage tourism.

That effort has involved several meetings already and has been organized by the Community Agricultural Alliance, Yampa Valley Partners and the Yampa Valley Economic Development Council.

"The enthusiasm that started with that meeting was pretty phenomenal," said Marsha Daughenbaugh, executive director of the Community Agriculture Alliance.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said that county commissioners are supportive of moving the efforts forward.

He said he thinks there are numerous small businesses throughout the region of which residents are not even aware.

Helping residents learn about those businesses is important to keeping dollars at home, he said.

"We don't need to be going to Denver and outside our area ... (if) there's a person down the street that can do the same thing," Monger said.

Audrey Danner, the executive director of Yampa Valley Partners, said ranchers and farmers who are diversifying their businesses to deal with changes in the agriculture industry own many of these home-based, more rural businesses.

The surveys are due Feb. 1. For more information, call Mucklow at 879-0825.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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