pueblo-riverwalkThis week, the Business Journal goes regional — welcoming hundreds of new subscribers in Pueblo, members of Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and the Pueblo Economic Development Corp.

Some people might believe that it’s unnecessary to cover both Pueblo and Colorado Springs, but in a global economy, it’s important to understand that we must act as a region, with the ability to combine the assets of two large Southern Colorado cities to create an economic powerhouse.

This newspaper’s mission in both cities remains the same: to be the premier business resource for small and large businesses, nonprofits and tourism groups, and to act as a catalyst for positive change in the region. For both, we want to tell business success stories, celebrate the business community and shed light on problems that can be fixed. Pueblo has business stories that are ignored by TV news coverage, which tends to focus on crime and poverty in the Steel City.

Ours isn’t the first partnership with Pueblo. Colorado Springs Utilities entered into a relationship that is vital to manage growth in Colorado Springs: the Southern Delivery System. The pipeline that brings water from Pueblo Reservoir to Colorado Springs is a vital link to continued development in the Springs. And though the relationship has sometimes been rocky, Mayor John Suthers has worked closely with Pueblo to resolve issues related to stormwater that previous administrations ignored.

Pueblo has long been a manufacturing city, and partnerships between Pikes Peak Community College and Pueblo’s manufacturers have helped to define a new workforce. The Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance-South includes businesses in both cities, and the group is working to find solutions to workforce shortages that will work for manufacturers throughout Southern Colorado.

Penrose-St. Francis CEO Margaret Sabin also oversees St. Mary Corwin, the hospital in Pueblo. The Better Business Bureau has strong ties with Pueblo, working to certify businesses. The BBB also holds its awards of excellence in customer service in Pueblo.

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Our goal is to create stronger ties overall. We want to discover ways the two business communities are similar, describe their differences, detail their accomplishments and point out where they fall short. We hope to aid in forging partnerships that strengthen the economies in both cities.

Connecting Colorado Springs and Pueblo — along with other cities in the region, like Woodland Park, Monument, Green Mountain Falls and Fountain — could create a combined economy that will rival that of northern Colorado.

Once a month, the Business Journal will feature a Pueblo section in the newspaper, highlighting Pueblo CEOs to create stronger connections with Colorado Springs leaders. We’ll tell you about their business successes and what they are doing to aid small businesses, and we’ll bring you tales of Pueblo entrepreneurs and young professionals.

We’ll also feature Pueblo business events in On the Horizon, bring you business briefs from the Steel City and highlight health care, real estate and aerospace developments.

The CSBJ is going regional because we believe it is the best way to assure economic prosperity in future years for the region. We encourage the Colorado Springs business community to strengthen ties with Pueblo as well. After all, the rising tide that is Southern Colorado’s economy can lift boats in Pueblo’s economy — and help businesses in Colorado Springs.

For this month’s Pueblo news, see tomorrow’s edition of the Business Journal.