About EcoDevo 101: The practice of economic development is vital to the advancement of any thriving community. It is also often misunderstood. In this series, we’ll dig deeper into the topics that underpin the profession, from public policy and mobility to technology and community planning, among many others.

What is a primary employer?
In simple terms, a primary employer is a business or industry that produces goods or services for statewide, national, or international markets.  The goods and services are exported to consumers outside of the region, resulting in a stream of new dollars coming into the local economy and ultimately a distribution of wealth through wages paid to employees, a stronger supply chain, and tax revenues.

Let us get nerdy for a minute….                                                                                                                             
This idea is based on the Economic Base Theory which that tells us that economic growth in a region is dependent on its ability to export goods, and that a region’s economy is divided into two sectors, the primary and secondary employers, or base and non-base sectors.  Primary employers, or the base sector, typically consists of those businesses sending goods and services outside of the region.  DISH Network, for example, is headquartered in the Denver South region and provides services to customers all over the world.  Secondary employers, or the non-base sector, are those businesses the produce goods and services that meet the needs of the local consumer market.  This includes local restaurants and retail establishments. The relationship between primary and non-primary employers is one of dependence as primary employers are known to bring new wealth and jobs into a region while secondary or local establishments circulate that wealth throughout the economy.

This is why our economic development efforts at Denver South are focused on attracting, retaining, and nurturing primary employers in our region.  These businesses are responsible for significant job creation, provide competitive wages, and often have a larger multiplier effect in term of economic impact. We are proud to recognize a number of primary employers who already call Denver South home.

It takes a village…          
It can be said that it takes a village to create a strong economy, and at Denver South, we agree with that sentiment. In addition to our efforts to grow our primary employment base, we work closely with our City and County economic development partners and other business resource groups to facilitate the success of our local retail, restaurant, and service providers.