Top Site Selection Organizations
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) provides site selectors with detailed data and information about Colorado, including detailed demographic and business data, regional profiles, community resources, state statistics, and industry data. OEDIT has a business retention and expansion program that helps local communities grow and retain existing businesses in Colorado. The program also assists communities with developing and operating their own retention and expansion programs. OEDIT also connects communities and companies to state programs and provides project support, access to capital and help overcoming red tape.
Colorado InSite is the Office of Economic Development’s online business location and market research tool. It provides users access to thousands of available properties and maps the locations of more than 600,000 businesses in the state.
Colorado is home to many business incubators and accelerators. Boulder attracts many of these; others are located in Denver, Telluride, and Colorado Springs. Alumni of the Techstars accelerator in Boulder attract an average of $1.8 million in outside financing after completing the program. Other incubators of note: the first-in-the-nation aerospace incubator located at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden and another, in Colorado Springs, aimed at helping Colorado’s new legal marijuana industry.
Colorado offers a job-training program for companies that are expanding in the state. Known as Colorado FIRST, the program focuses on assisting established Colorado businesses to remain competitive, adapt to new technology and prevent layoffs. Grants may be used for instructor’s salaries, curriculum development and training supplies.
Among the program’s criteria: a maximum grant award of $800 per employee; training must be customized to meet the company’s specific needs; grant-funded training must be for permanent, full-time, non-seasonal, non-retail positions; and companies must pay 40 percent of the total training costs.
Companies must also meet a wage threshold of $11.96 per hour in urban areas $9.7 hour in rural areas.
Colorado offers various tax incentives, financing programs, and cash incentives to support economic development in Colorado. Tax credits focus on job creation throughout the state and speficially within distressed enterprise zones. Other tax initiatives target biotechnology and manufacturing companies by providing an exemption from some state sales and use taxes.
OEDIT offers grants to companies in seven targeted industries for proofs of concepts, early-stage capital, infrastructure funding, and exporting. Colorado Capital Access and the Colorado Venture Capital Authority make credit available to new and growing businesses.
FIONA ARNOLD: Executive director, Colorado Office Of Economic Development & International Trade
What has Colorado done to ensure the success of its businesses?
We have collected all of the resources that support business under the economic development roof, regardless of sector, size, or point in the company’s life cycle. When we recuit a company to Colorado we are just getting started. Once they are here we get them connected to the community, get them access to the skilled workers they need, and provide other resources that ensure their success.
What are Colorado’s most under-appreciated assets for businesses?
People may not realize how easy it is to get from Colorado to anywhere. Being in the middle of the country and having an incredibly well-connected international airport is a huge asset. The level of education among our workforce is very high. We have many workers who have earned degrees. We have a very deep talent pool.
How does Colorado support and/or encourage exports?
Our international trade division is exclusively focused on assisting Colorado companies to access foreign markets. They lead trade missions around the world and invite Colorado companies to come with us. We are constantly focused on giving exposure to Colorado companies to markets where they have the best opportunities.
Corporate Tax Rate: 4.63 percent
2014 Gross State Product: $322.2 billion
2015 FY Real State Growth: 3.6 percent
2014 Export Total: $8.5 billion
Right to Work State: No
Population: 5.4 million
Labor Force Size: 2.8 million
Unemployment Rate: 4.2 percent
High School Diploma or Higher: 92 percent
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 37 percent
Int’l Airports: Denver Int’l
Rail: BNSF, UP
Highways: I-25, I-70, I-76, U.S. 24, U.S. 36, U.S. 50, U.S. 87
FTZs: 112, 123
University of Colorado
Colorado State University
University of Denver
United States Air Force Academy