In 2017, the Town of Erie hired Ben Pratt to be the Town’s first Economic Development Director. Since that time, Mr. Pratt has made large strides towards strategic, efficient, and smart economic development planning that has greatly benefited the town and businesses within the community.
Ben came to Erie with years of experience in the field and previously worked as the Vice President of the Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership in Erie, Pennsylvania and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business. He is also accredited from the International Economic Development Council. When he arrived in Erie, he jumped in his position and put a strong emphasis on relationship building with citizens, businesses and developers in the area. His work has helped bring new businesses into Erie as well as assisted current businesses understand their opportunity for expansion.
Deputy Town Administrator, Farrell Buller states, “One item that is unique about Ben is his style. Ben works with business owners in a face to face manner, continually building relationships! He completes tasks to assist them in learning about funding options, walks sites with them, and celebrates their successes.”
Additionally, Ben has led the efforts of creating the Leads Team and the implementation of Zoom Prospector. The Leads Team is a monthly meeting of all groups focused on moving business forward in Erie and it includes leaders from the Erie Economic Development Council, the Erie Chamber of Commerce, Upstate Colorado, the Small Business Development Center and the Town of Erie. The creation of this group ensures that all efforts are strategic and not duplicated. He also brought Zoom Prospector to the Town which is an efficient system that allows businesses to identify possible locations in Erie and what their costs are.
“Ben has been a great help to the revitalization of Old Town. Besides helping us with our project at 105 Wells St., he has been deeply involved in working on the Piripi Restaurant that is being built at 615 Briggs and the Bird House restaurant, coming to the Gateway Building at 516 Briggs,” said Erie developer, Rich Hiegel.
The Town has also recently hired Lucas Workman as the new Economic Development Specialist to work with Ben on the future of the economic development department. Ben and Lucas’ vision over the next few years is to responsibly develop a stable, diverse local economy consistent with the Town’s characteristics that also offers job opportunities, services and amenities to residents.
“We feel fortunate to have the experience we have in Ben & Lucas here in Erie,” said Scott Wingfield, Chair of the Erie Economic Development Council. “The two of them have been engaged, attentive and supportive of the business in the community and we look forward to continuing to work with them for years to come.”
If you have a business or are interested in starting a business in Erie, the EEDC encourages you to set up a meeting with Ben & Lucas by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving them a call at (303) 926-2767!