Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive

The Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive is for competitive business expansion or relocation projects. The project needs to be considered in several states. The incentive gives a cash payment over five years to companies that create and maintain new permanent jobs in Colorado for one year.

Your business may not start or announce the proposed project in Colorado until your business submits a final application to Global Business Development and the Colorado Economic Development Commission approves the application. You must wait to complete any of these activities including but not limited to:

  • locating or expanding in the state
  • signing a lease
  • hiring employees related to this project
  • making material expenditures for this project

Overview

Type: Cash incentive

For: Businesses considering interstate competitive expansion or relocation projects in Colorado

Amount: Up to $6,500 per net new job

Application deadline: Rolling

OEDIT division: Global Business Development

Cash incentives vary based on the number of jobs created and if the job is located in an economically disadvantaged location. These locations include enterprise zones, opportunity zones, rural jump-start counties, and select just transition counties (Delta, Gunnison, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, and Routt).

The annual average wage rate is based on the project's location.

Standard Counties
Annual average wage rate Cash per net new job
100% $3,000
120% $4,000
140% $6,500

 

Economically Disadvantaged Counties
Annual average wage rate Cash per net new job
100% $3,000
110% $4,000
120% $5,000
130% or more $6,500

To be eligible, your business needs to:

  • create permanent, full-time net new jobs in Colorado
  • maintain the net new jobs for at least one year
  • have inter-state competitive factors
  • secure a 1-to-1 local matching commitment (see below)
  • have the potential for significant economic spinoff benefits, such as attracting prestigious companies or suppliers, developing a large expansion initiative, or generating tourism and travel activity
  • produce significant capital investment

Projects that respond to a special local economic event, such as replacing jobs after recent layoffs or market disruptions are considered favorably.

Businesses may not receive the Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive and the Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit for the same permanent net new jobs. However, businesses may receive the Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit and the Location Neutral Employment Incentive (see below), a special type of incentive, for the same permanent net new jobs if the jobs are for remote workers in Colorado’s rural counties.

Matches are cash or something of monetary value to the company for a business development project. To receive this incentive, your business needs to secure a local commitment for a 1-to-1 match. For example, if you request an incentive of $4,000 from the State, the project needs to secure $4,000 in discretionary local incentives.

The local match requirement for Just Transition counties will be waived during 2021 for one job creation incentive project up to $1,000,000 per county. Approved projects must commence at the later of December 31, 2021 or within six full months of project approval, whichever is longer. Just Transition counties include Delta, Gunnison, La Plata, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Routt

A local match shows OEDIT and the Colorado Economic Development Commission that the local government or its designee:

  • supports your company’s project
  • sees the long-term economic benefits of the new business
  • expects the project will grow the community’s economic viability
  • equals the State’s commitment to the project

Local matches come from a local government or a private organization acting on behalf of the local government. The match needs to have value to the company or its employees. Your business may secure multiple types of local commitments as long as the combined value is equal to the State incentive or higher. The local match needs to not be commonly offered to all businesses in the jurisdiction.

Types of local matching commitments include, but are not limited to:

  • cash, such as money per net new job, or traditional cash payments
  • sales tax abatement
  • business or real property tax reduction
  • waiving of building permits and fee or other taxes

These types of local matching commitments require vetting by our Global Business Development team: 

  • bus or recreation center passes
  • discounted or free land and buildings
  • public funding of public-private partnerships, but only the amount not funded by the project itself
  • other cash capital commitments
  • below market rate loans

Local matching commitments should generally match the terms, or be more extensive than, the Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive contract, such as:

  • five-year term
  • same or lower minimum average annual wage
  • same or more money per net new jobs
  • no minimum number of net new jobs before payout

The local match payments do not need to be made at the same time as the SFJGI payouts. However, the match needs to be finalized by a contract.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission may grant exceptions to matching fund policies.

First, contact our Global Business Development (GBD) staff. GBD staff will assess each company’s eligibility before inviting a company to apply for the program.

The application process is:

  1. Prove eligibility: Contact GBD staff to schedule a discussion or meeting to prove eligibility. Even if a project receives preliminary approval through this discussion or meeting, a project is not guaranteed to proceed to the Colorado Economic Development Commission. GBD staff may halt the application process at any point.
  2. Submit initial documents: If eligible, your company will submit these documents to GBD at least 41 days before your meeting with the Colorado Economic Development Commission:
    • Colorado employment plan
    • Cost differential analysis
    • Three years of historical company financials
  3. Submit application: GBD staff will give your company access to the OEDIT application portal. This application is due about 20 days before your meeting with the Colorado Economic Development Commission. GBD will notify your company of Colorado’s incentive offer about 14 days before your meeting with the Colorado Economic Development Commission.
  4. Full application review and approval: GBD will present the Colorado Incentive Application to the Colorado Economic Development Commission for final approval. If approved, the company has 18 months to start its job creation project.

The Location Neutral Employment (LONE) Incentive is a cash payment for up to $300,000 for companies that create and maintain net new jobs for remote workers in Colorado’s rural counties outside the county where the Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit project is based for five years. The amount awarded will be based on the average number of net new rural jobs over the entire five-year period.

This incentive is a special type of Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive, because it waives the local match usually required by the Strategic Fund Job Growth Incentive. Incentive levels vary based on the number of jobs created in rural areas.

Location LONE Incentive cash per job
Rural Jump-Start county $2,500
Just Transition Rural Jump-Start county $5,000
Southern Ute Indian or Ute Mountain Ute Reservation lands $5,000


The LONE Incentive is a pilot program that started in 2019 and will run through December 31, 2021. Policies, programs, and rules will adapt as needed.

LONE incentive eligibility

Your company needs to receive a Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit to receive the LONE Incentive.

Average annual wages for the jobs need to be at least 100% of the average annual wage in the county where the primary project will be located. For example, if the primary project is in Jefferson County and the remote worker is in Kiowa County, the remote worker's wage will be included in the total project's average. The average of all workers' wages needs to be at least 100% of the average annual wage in Jefferson County.

All net new remote rural jobs need to be full-time permanent positions and maintained for at least one year in each evaluation period. For employees to qualify as remote rural workers, they need to work remotely on average at least three days per week in a location eligible for the Rural Jump-Start Program. Remote rural jobs can be in any area eligible for the Rural Jump-Start Program. All remote workers don’t have to be in the same county.

Just Transition communities and areas in the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute reservations receive $5,000 (instead of the standard $2,500) per net new job.

Rural Jump-Start counties include Alamosa, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Dolores, Fremont, Garfield, Grand, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lake, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Otero, Ouray, Park, Phillips, Prowers, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma.

Just Transition communities are diversifying away from coal-dependent economic development strategies. Just Transition counties include Delta, Gunnison, Moffat, Montrose, Morgan, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, and Routt.

How to apply for the LONE incentive

When you apply for the Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit, tell your Global Business Development contact that you want to apply for the LONE incentive.

You may not request the incentive for past years. You can request the incentive for the remaining years once the minimum requirements have been met.

LONE incentive conditions of funding

Each year during the five-year term, your company needs to file a report with Business Funding and Incentives.

If it takes your business longer than planned to create the net new jobs, the grant agreement document will stay in effect for the remaining years in the credit period.

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