For those of you who might not have kept track of the daily reports on about the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Washington Legislative Action Mission, the information will continue to be available on the Web site.

This will let us track some of the possible initiatives for the community that resulted from the trip.

If you didn’t follow the daily updates, the main point, I think, that came out of the trip is that we are missing funding opportunities available through the Department of Labor.

As I said in my recap of the trip, I am asking Jerry Smith, the CEO of the United Way, to put something on the agenda for the leadership summit in April to discuss how we, as a community could have a clearing house or a point person to ensure all of our organizations are taking advantage of federal grants.

On another national note, we are working on a survey that will be sent to venture capitalists asking questions such as, “If you were reviewing a possible investment in an attractive company based in Colorado Springs, would you list the following as either positive or negative attributes of the city …”

We still have to come up with the positive and negative attributes.

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While the chamber group was in Washington, D.C., we saw a headline on the front page of the Washington Times that read: Marriage activists ready for Colorado battle.

One issue that strikes me, and one that Lou Mellini brought up during a recent meeting, is, “Who is our national voice? Who has the microphone nationally for Colorado Springs?” The answer is the evangelicals. Whenever our city gets national media coverage it is inevitably Ted Haggard or James Dobson getting the sound bites.

Could our national image have an effect on our economic development issues? I think so.

Too far right is probably the perception of the Springs. But I believe we are really not that far right. We have a healthy alternative newspaper, the Independent, and if we were really as far right leaning as perhaps our national perception is, then how could a left-leaning paper such as the Indy be a viable business?

How can we get a more neutral national voice? I don’t have the answer but I will try to find it.

Southern Colorado Economic Forum

Save the date for the 10th Annual Southern Colorado Economic Forum. It will be Oct. 11 at the Antlers Hilton.

This popular event has been combined with Holland & Hart’s Business Symposium. Gen. Robert Mixon of Fort Carson is scheduled to discuss the impact of the post’s growth on Southern Colorado.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at or 329-5202.