Creating New Jobs: Three Businesses Expand in Pueblo County Through Rural Jump-Start Program

DENVER — Today, Governor Polis and the Business Funding & Incentives Division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT) announced the first three businesses to join the Rural Jump-Start (RJS) program in Pueblo County: AMCON Distributing Company, Ask Oracle and Fomcore. Collectively, these companies expect to create 59 full time jobs above the average annual wage in Pueblo County.

“Pueblo is an important part of Colorado’s economy and we are thrilled to welcome these businesses to the area. Colorado is the best place to live, work, and do business, and through the Rural Jump-Start program these businesses will create 59 new good-paying jobs for Coloradans and continue driving our economy forward,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

The RJS program fosters economic development in many areas across the state by encouraging businesses to start in or move to economically distressed, rural counties of Colorado. By expanding local business communities, the program supports the development of new jobs and stronger, more diversified local economies.

“The Rural Jump-Start program is an important tool to support new jobs across Colorado, and we are thrilled to see these three businesses recognize the many benefits of expanding in Pueblo County. Together, they are diversifying and strengthening the area economy,” said Eve Lieberman, OEDIT Executive Director.

AMCON Distributing Company is the sixth largest wholesale distributor of convenience store products in the nation, according to annual revenue. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, AMCON Distributing Company has purchased a facility in Colorado City to expand operations. Over the next four years, the company expects to employ 27 full time employees above Pueblo County’s average annual wage. The positions will primarily be administrative and handle order operations in the warehouse.

Ask Oracle is a data and information technology startup in Pueblo. The company’s first product, Home nDex, is a property maintenance application currently under development. The app will allow homeowners to upload and store important property documents and alert users when their home is due for maintenance. The online, monthly subscription service will be available nationally, and Ask Oracle plans to employ 22 full time employees above Pueblo County’s average annual wage over the next four years. Positions include customer service representatives, marketing, finance and other business administrative services.

Fomcore is a soft-seating furniture manufacturer that makes customizable foam furniture with a lifetime warranty. Headquartered in Muskegon, Michigan, the company expanded production in Pueblo County in March 2024 to service the western region of the United States. The Pueblo facility is the company’s second location. Fomcore primarily manufactures furniture for K-12 schools, government buildings, and medical facilities in Canada and the United States. The company plans to employ 10 full time employees above Pueblo County’s average annual wage for manufacturing roles, material management, maintenance, and administrative office roles.

“Pueblo Community College is honored to support entrepreneurs choosing to build their business in rural southern Colorado. The Rural Jump-Start program aligns well with PCC’s mission to transform lives, enrich our communities, and strengthen our regional economies. We’re proud to partner with the Southern Colorado Economic Development District and our local economic development organizations and we’re excited to support these businesses as they grow and thrive in our community,” said Amanda Corum, Executive Director of Pueblo Corporate College, a sponsoring entity of the Rural Jump-Start Program in Pueblo County along with the Southern Colorado Economic Development District.

New businesses accepted into the RJS program can qualify for tax incentives and grant benefits, including relief from the state business income tax, the sales and use tax, and county/municipal business personal property taxes. Qualified employees also receive relief from their state personal income tax. Additional benefits are available for designated coal transition communities. 

“The Rural Jump-Start program has supported business and job creation across the state, and I’m thrilled to see Pueblo County start to experience the same benefits. Kudos to Pueblo County for having the vision to join the program and pave the way for today’s exciting announcement,” said Sen. Nick Hinrichsen.

“I am thrilled to welcome AMCON, Ask Oracle and Fomcore to southern Colorado. By diversifying the Pueblo County business community, they will help create a stronger economy for everyone who calls this important part of Colorado home,” said Rep. Tisha Mauro.

“The businesses announced today will create nearly 60 full time jobs above Pueblo County’s average annual wage. That’s a win for our hard working families in southern Colorado,” said Assistant Minority Leader Ty Winter.

“These businesses recognize what we all know to be true about southern, rural Colorado: it is a great place to live and do business and we are thrilled to welcome them to Pueblo County,” said Rep. Matthew Martinez.

At its March 2024 meeting, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved AMCON Distributing Company, Ask Oracle, and Fomcore for participation in the Pueblo County RJS Zone. Pueblo County collaborates with Pueblo Community College and the Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD) to assist local businesses interested in the program.

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