By David Irvin: CNJ staff writer
Clovis is one of five communities awarded the certified community distinction under the State’s Certified Community Initiative this year, a press release from the Economic Development Department shows.
Economic development secretary Rick Homans was scheduled to make the announcement at a Tuesday morning breakfast in Clovis, but inclement weather in Santa Fe prevented his plane from taking off, he said later in the day.
He complimented the economic growth Clovis has experienced in recent years and said it serves as a good model to watch as it develops in the future.
“Clovis is one of the real bright stars in the state,” he said. “You have a local government that is committed … and you generate significant revenues every year that can be used for economic development.”
The award is given annually to communities demonstrating their commitment to economic development by empowering citizens, building on existing resources, partnering with the state and other economic organizations and expanding their capacity to facilitate economic growth, the release showed.
Homans said his department will be watching Clovis and Portales closely over the next two years.
“The whole microplex there is really a model for the state,” he said.
CIDC officials said the certification demonstrated a willingness in the community to promote business and facilitate the introduction of new businesses in town.
“Clovis was very fortunate to receive the highest number of points during that application process,” said CIDC President Lee Malloy. “It does say that the city of Clovis, the government of this city, is open for business, and we are ready to take control of our destiny and move forward.”
Homans said the certification will last two years and Clovis will receive $5,000 per year while certified. He hopes the program will raise the bar in the quality of economic development and community involvement in business across the state.
“Our intention is when the communities reapply, the process will get tougher every time,” Homans said.
Chase Gentry, executive director of CIDC, said the $5,000 received may go to fund a labor study currently being conducted.
Homans said he would love to see every community in New Mexico certified, but doesn’t expect that to happen overnight.