BOULDER - The Boulder City Council will discuss preliminary results of the Boulder Primary Employer Study at its Aug. 28 study session.

The update will make reference to findings from a report authored by the University of Colorado-Boulder's Leeds School of Business, Business Research Division, a survey conducted by the Boulder Economic Council and four stakeholder meetings.  

Members of the council requested the study to help analyze the needs of primary employers - defined as businesses and organizations that generate more than 50 percent of their revenue from activities outside of Boulder County, excluding hotels, motels, retailers or food-service facilities - in relation to the city's industrial and commercial areas. The report provides information in aggregate about a profile of Boulder's primary employers; issues, needs and challenges of primary employers; and the location and age of commercial and industrial space.

"Understanding the needs and challenges of our primary employers is essential to helping the city retain businesses it already has and identifying potential areas where we can improve or address the city's long-term needs," said Liz Hanson, Boulder's economic vitality coordinator. "The report identifies several areas where there are opportunities to improve services by updating city codes and processes. However, it also calls for a broader look at issues that require additional analysis such as walkability to local amenities and financial catalysts for commercial space upgrades."

Key issues identified in the study include limited availability of suitable space for primary employer expansion, lack of flexibility of current permitted uses in some zones, the cost of doing business, and lack of amenities in some areas of the city.

Based on City Council direction on Aug. 28, city staff will present proposed goals and a work plan for an economic sustainability strategy in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Find the complete study online.