Recently some businesses from Florida and Colorado visited Sheridan (and other Wyoming communities) with the intention of doing early groundwork for potential business sites.
Their intentions were to determine if the area, Sheridan, would be “suitable” for their business. Suitable is the key operative word.
Forward Sheridan and our business partners have developed specific information and an approach to demonstrate suitability. This is a three prong attack — the first is a wide variety of commercial, shovel ready, properties, both private and public that are available.
Few have a better vista than Cloud Peak or Morrison Ranch (both privately held) in the spring evening. Community properties such as Hi-Tech Park and the Airport Commercial Park enable an inventory of platted areas and we have the basic information for power, infrastructure, and connectivity. As Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey said to one of our guests, “Shovel ready means that with appropriate plans, a building permit and process can happen quickly.”
Availability of raw commercial property that is shovel ready is a resource that has taken a good period of time to develop.
Second prong is the aggregation of community information that was assembled via the Economic Development Task Force efforts.
This package essentially is a catalogue of materials that a business would need to consider and understand including zoning/building standards, plats, list of community partners and much more. Again, just last week, having this package was a benefit as our visitors had questions about workforce training as well as movie theater information — and it was ready.
We did not anticipate that the movie theater would be a key piece but the question provided the sedge way to the WYO Theater complex. (This clearly is distinctive for Sheridan).
To add to this basic information base, FS and our partners are starting the process to develop “virtual” building to represent options.
The concept is to have a visual representation of a structure that meets zoning and building guidelines that can be used for comparison.
Recently, during a discussion with Wyoming Business Council representatives — this concept — virtual building, coupled with the site information would allow Sheridan to set the standard in Wyoming.
Finally, we are seeing interest from the telehealth and specialty manufacturing related industries.
Ptolemy Data Systems’ national recognition has sparked communication from Kansas, Texas, and Utah companies related to our housing opportunities, community health resources, and connectivity.
Vacutech LLC and L&H Industrial, via their working performance, have triggered some niche manufacturers to look at Sheridan.
To enhance our ability to promote these leads the Economic Development Task Force is starting an aggressive social media campaign.
Currently we are developing a blog to solicit and publish pieces of information about our current companies and why Sheridan is productive setting.
As summer traffic brings former residents and visitors we are framing our information to encourage the thought of business expansion in our community.
Jay Stender is executive director of Forward Sheridan