Colorado Direct Financial Incentives
Colorado's economic development, finance and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment.
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The Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) allocates and administers federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which are set aside for business finance projects. Loans and infrastructure grants are provided for projects that create or retain jobs principally for low- or moderate-income persons.
OEDIT uses its allocation of funds to capitalize the state's Business Loan Funds. Currently, the state has 15 Business Loan Fund locations that have service areas covering the majority of the rural areas of the state. The state's program does not cover any of the metropolitan or entitlement cities in Colorado, since these communities receive their own allocation of funds. For loans, contact the state regional revolving loan funds. Businesses interested in infrastructure grants should contact OED/IT directly.
In addition, any business locating or expanding in the state is potentially eligible for Economic Development Commission funds. Projects must demonstrate a high potential for success and economic impact. Potential multi-million Incentive packages are designed to assist with existing business expansions and new company relocations in order to promote job creation and retention in all regions of the state. In determining whether to approve incentive awards, the EDC reviews the number of jobs created, average salary levels, location and other factors. Incentives may be in the form of tax credits authorized by statute (Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit Program) or direct, performance-based payments (Strategic Fund Program).
Certified Capital Companies (CAPCOs) are for-profit companies that are authorized to provide equity, debt or other forms of financing for start-up or expanding businesses in Colorado. Contact information for the CAPCOs may be found on the OED/IT website.
The Colorado Venture Capital Authority (VCA), through its selected fund manager (High Country Venture, LLC) established a fund of approximately $25 million to make seed- and early-stage capital investments in Colorado businesses. The VCA anticipates the establishment of a second fund of approximately $25 million in 2010.
Advanced Industries Accelerator Programs
The Advanced Industries (AI) Accelerator Programs (HB 13-1001, HB 13-1193) were created in 2013 to promote growth and sustainability in these industries by helping drive innovation, accelerate commercialization, encourage public-private partnerships, increase access to early stage capital and create a strong ecosystem that increases the state’s global competitiveness.
Advanced industries are prime drivers of the U.S. and Colorado economy, comprised of engineering and R&D intensive companies that deliver products and services in industries ranging from aerospace to medical devices.
Colorado’s advanced industries include: advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources (including Cleantech), infrastructure engineering, and technology and information. The economic impact of these industries account for nearly 30 percent of the state’s wage earnings, nearly 30 percent of the total sales revenues across all industries within the state and nearly 35 percent of the state’s total exports.
As part of the statewide strategy to support these critical industries in their various phases of growth, OEDIT offers four types of grants and two global business programs. Grants are available for Proof of Concept, Early-Stage Capital & Retention, Infrastructure Funding and AI Exports. A network of consultants and export training program are also available as part of the AI Global Business Programs to support these industries as they strive for worldwide markets.
Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program:
The Early-Stage Bioscience Company grants up to $250,000 are intended to spur economic development and help new companies born out of Colorado research institutions to succeed in developing new technologies, business structures and product development. Grants are accessible to qualified Early-Stage Companies whose technology is licensed from a qualified Research Institution. Grants will support the commercialization of therapeutic or diagnostic products, devices, or instruments to improve human health; bioscience technologies that improve agriculture or biofuels.
The Proof-of-Concept grants under the Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program (BDEGP) are intended to support bioscience discoveries that will likely lead to the development of new products, services, businesses and employment in the bioscience industry in Colorado. Grants up to $150,000 are open to Offices of Technology Transfer (OTT) affiliated with qualified Research Institutions in order to enhance the commercial potential of bioscience research projects that focus on life sciences, engineering, material sciences computer sciences, photonics, or nanotechnology.
The current Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant (BDEG) program will operate under its current rules, guidelines and format. On January 1, 2015, the BDEG program will merge with the AI Accelerator Program and both will operate under this program’s rules and guidelines.
The Colorado First Customized Training Program provides training assistance for the expansion of existing companies and the development of new firms. Companies receiving assistance must be non-retail in nature, and jobs must be permanent and non-seasonal.
The Colorado Existing Industry Training Program provides assistance for training for companies that are undergoing a major technological change, and for training or retraining their workers for specific jobs where training is deemed crucial for the continued success of the company. Companies must be non-retail in nature, and jobs must be permanent and non-seasonal. For both programs, companies must provide 40 percent of these training costs.
Colorado State Contact:
State of Colorado
Office of Economic Development
1625 Broadway, Suite 2700
Denver, CO 80202
Fax: (303) 892-3848 Incentive and tax information is provided to Area Development by each state's economic development or commerce agency for information purposes only and is subject to revision at any time by the state government. Please contact the state agency directly for full requirements and offerings. This information was last updated October 2015.
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