Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado

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Business Incentives

Colorado offers a host of incentives for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Colorado provides performance-based incentives to qualifying companies that create new jobs, and offers customized training grants.

Please visit the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade's (OEDIT) webpage ChooseColorado.com for additional and more detailed information. If you feel your business might qualify for any of these incentives, please contact Region 9.

Job Growth Tax Incentive

The Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit provides a state income tax credit to businesses undertaking job creation projects that would not occur in Colorado without this program.

Strategic Cash Fund Incentive

The Strategic Fund Cash Incentive program supports and encourages new business development, business expansions and relocations that have generated new jobs throughout the state. In some cases, the Strategic Cash Fund may also be able to provide support for initiatives led by non-profit entities pertaining to key industries or regional development.

Enterprise Zone Tax Credits

Colorado's Enterprise Zone (EZ) program provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate and expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state. For more detailed information visit the OEDIT's webpage ChooseColorado.com

Job Training Grant Programs

The Colorado First and Existing Industry grants are jointly administered by OEDIT and the Colorado Community College System. The state may be able to provide specific support to retain jobs or offers business-friendly tools that assist in retaining jobs (such as the Enterprise Zone Program) for this grant. In Southwest Colorado, please contact the SW Colorado Community College, 970-247-2929 ext. 7238 for more information.

Public Infrastructure Grants

The Infrastructure Assistance program is designed to create new permanent jobs and retain existing jobs, primarily for low and moderate income persons. The state may be able to provide specific support to retain jobs or offers business-friendly tools that assist in retaining jobs (such as the Enterprise Zone Program) for this grant. This federally-funded program encourages new business development, expansions, and retentions of businesses located in non-entitlement cities and counties.

Typically, eligible improvements are owned and/or maintained by a public or quasi-public entity. Funds may be provided for the construction and/or improvement of:

This application must be sponsored by a local government or by Region 9.

Biotechnology Sales and Use Tax Refund

Colorado promotes its biotechnology industries by providing them with a taxpayer-friendly means to recover the sales and use previously-paid tax expenses on equipment and supplies used for research and development.

Planning & Feasibility Study Grants

The federally-funded CDBG Planning and Feasibility Study grant program provides funding to determine the feasibility of a project or to plan for a project to be located in Colorado. These projects need to meet an economic development objective, and create or retain permanent jobs primarily for low- and moderate- income persons. OEDIT has $75,000 available annually to fund requests.

Business Financial Assistance Options

Colorado provides several financing tools for businesses throughout Colorado including debt and equity financing, cash incentives, grants, and tax credits to support economic development activities that improve and support employment opportunities. Programs include the Regional Tourism Act and the Venture Capital Authority.

Local Government Incentives

Local government and community organizations can offer incentives such as waiver of fees, expedited land use review and approval, actual cash payments, grant sponsorship, etc. Those must be negotiated, and Region 9 can serve as a resource.

Local Government Incentives in an Enterprise Zone
Any city, county or special district within an enterprise zone is authorized to negotiate with individual taxpayers who have qualifying new business facilities:
a) an incentive payment or property tax credit equal to not more than the amount of the increase in property tax liability over pre-enterprise zone levels; and
b) a refund of local sales taxes on purchases of equipment, machinery, machine tools, or supplies used in the taxpayer's business in the enterprise zone.

For example, if the Town's mill levy of a vacant lot is a $100, then when a building is built and equipment installed, the Town's mill levy might increase to a thousand dollars, the increase of the $900.00 is something the town could waive. Usually, this is phased over time, for example, the first year, 100% of the tax increase is abated, the second year it is 80%, the third year it is 60%, etc.

Rural Jumpstart

The Rural Jump-Start Zone program (based on Senate Bill 15-282) is a tax relief program for new businesses and new hires who locate into certain designated areas called Jump-Start zones. The program offers the following benefits:

• Relief from state income taxes for the new business

• Relief from the state sales & use tax for the new business

• Relief from county and municipal business personal property tax for the new business

• Relief from state income taxes for the employee

Designated counties in Region 9's service area - Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma, and San Juan 

This program is jointly administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC), and the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Advance Industry Opportunities

Proof of Concept Grant: This grant uses funding to identify and pull technologies from research institutions where they were discovered and connect them to the private sector where they can be developed into products for commercialization.

Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant: This grant uses funding to support companies using technologies developed in proof of concept grants and other early stage start-ups that have created viable products that meet a market need and that can be created or manufactured in Colorado and exported globally.

Infrastructure Funding: This grant uses funding to accelerate commercialization and innovation of advanced industry products and services by building capacity and workforce for the advanced industries ecosystem. The application for this grant is open twice a year in the spring and fall.

Export Accelerator Program: This is a financial assistance program for aspiring and current Colorado exporters. The grant program supports eligible small and medium-sized business through funds to offset international business development and marketing costs.

Colorado State Historic Preservation

The state of Colorado offers Historic Preservation Grants for properties listed on a local, State, or National historic register. Acquisition and Development grants involve physical work (preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation) and usually require that the applicant provide a 25% match. Grant funds are available to publicly owned properties, or to privately owned properties in partnership with a non-profit or public entity. More information is available at https://www.historycolorado.org/grants-financial-incentives or the History Colorado Preservation Planning Unit at 303- 866-3392.

Historic Preservation Tax Credits & Grants

Federal and state tax laws provide tax incentives for certain projects in historic buildings. These credits allow taxpayers to reduce, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the amount of income tax they owe to the government. The amount of credit that can be obtained is calculated as a percentage of the overall rehabilitation costs associated with the project-

Applicants are urged to contact History Colorado’s Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) as early as possible to ensure that all requirements are met when applying for these programs.