Economic gardening in Region 10

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GRAND JUNCTION The reat recession of 2008 affected cities all over the country. Smaller communities on the Western Slope felt the impact as well and in some ways are still feeling it, but now with the help of the Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning those communities are coming together to help get their local economies back up to speed.

This morning Region 10 hosted an Economic Gardening Summit to brainstorm and there were dozens of attendees. The whole concept was to grow your economy like a garden.

"You need to know what you're soil is," Jay Stooksberry from Region 10 said. "You need to know what tools you have available."

In an effort to boost rural Western Slope economies Region 10 talked about regional assests that each area has to bring to the table, regional resources and different plans for each community city in Region 10.

"We're very excited to have the attendance we have today," Michelle Haynes from Region 10 said. "Particularly with the representation across the region. We have most of our counties and municipalities represented."

The Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning is a non-profit that serves six Western Slope counties including Montrose and Delta. Since 1972 the group has helped improve local economies in crisis using a variety of resources.

"It's been great to have a team come together and actually come from different parts of our region," Haynes said.

Stooksberry says Region 10 specifically benefits from having a diverse set of assests from each community. These economic drivers include agri-tourism, outdoor recreation activity and natural resources.

"For the most part everyone is staying and working within the region, so it's great to see that we have a little bit of everything for everyone right here in our backyard," Stooksberry said.

Many tools, like online search databases, are offered to Region 10 residents to help build up businesses that already exist.

Region 10 also has a few other resources available to locals including a Business Loan Fund and a Small Business Resource Center.

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