DENVER -- The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) partnered with state legislators to pass 12 bills that will infuse $228 million into Colorado’s economic recovery efforts.
Notable economic recovery legislation funded through state monies includes the Marijuana Entrepreneur Program (SB21-111) which appropriates $4 Million for the program and will be used for loans, grants and technical assistance for marijuana entrepreneurs, and the Events and Meetings Incentive (HB21-1263) which provides $10 million to be used by eligible events for up to a 10% rebate of the hard costs of said event (e.g., food & beverage (alcohol excluded), venue rental, etc.), up to 25% rebate on any COVID-19 related costs (e.g., tech needs for virtual/in-person events and public health order-related costs) and up-front, direct assistance to attract large events that impact multiple counties and have the potential to generate significant economic impact.
Colorado’s creative community also received a boost from legislators through HB21-1285 which appropriated a total of $23 million, including the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District ($1.5 million), the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media’s Film Incentive Program ($6 million) and Colorado Creative Industries’ Colorado Arts Relief Grant Program ($15.5 million).
Legislators also passed a Community Revitalization (SB21-252) program which provides $65 million in gap funding for creative construction projects across the state. These shovel-ready projects are aimed at creating or revitalizing mixed-use commercial centers in rural communities, historic districts and creative districts across the state.
Other state-funded programs totaling $61 million include:
- Rural Jump-Start Grants
- Small Business Accelerated Growth
- Energize Gap Fund
- Colorado Startup Loan Fund
Legislators also approved $25 million in supplemental funding for OEDIT to be used for the Strategic Fund and Advanced Industries - key economic tools for the State. The Strategic Fund supports and encourages new business development, business expansions and relocations that generate new jobs throughout the state. In some cases, the Strategic Fund may also provide support for initiatives led by non-profit entities pertaining to key industries or regional development. The Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program -- or the “AI program” -- accelerates economic growth through grants that improve and expand the development of seven advanced industries in Colorado. These industries include advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering, and technology and information.
In addition to state funding, legislators passed SB21-291 which appropriates $40 million from the American Recovery Plan to the state Strategic Fund, $10 million of which will be dedicated to economic development efforts in rural Colorado, including through OEDIT’s Location Neutral (LONE) program. The LONE program provides companies that will be approved for a Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit with an additional cash incentive for each remote worker employed in an eligible rural county outside of where the company is based. Each LONE award is capped at $300,000 per company.
“The OEDIT team has worked diligently throughout the pandemic to provide economic support and assistance to Colorado businesses in need and this newly appropriated funding comes at a critical inflection point for Colorado’s economy. We are grateful to Colorado’s Legislature for appropriating the economic tools that will enable us to rebuild Colorado’s diverse economy,” said Patrick Meyers, Executive Director of OEDIT and Colorado’s Chief Economic Recovery Officer.
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