Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) today released the city’s annual roadmap to drive advances in economic opportunity and job growth for the City and County of Denver.
JumpStart 2014 features a new strategic retail plan to make Denver one of the nation’s most prolific, progressive and entertaining retail environments with a world-class diversity of products, tastes and experiences. The plan will aim to grow Denver’s urban and neighborhood retail markets by strengthening retail districts, centers and businesses by identifying and supporting new opportunities.
“Retail activity is extremely important to our fiscal health, and our goal is to make Denver truly one of the nation’s landmark retail cities,” Mayor Hancock said. “JumpStart 2014 boldly expands our sights toward broadening our economic foundation with new retail markets. This plan will also continue our work to stimulate balanced growth through business assistance, neighborhood revitalization and the development of a skilled workforce and focuses on innovation, sustainability and education.”
JumpStart 2014 will build on the successes of JumpStart 2013. Last year alone, incentive, tax credit, loan and training assistance programs driven by the 2013 strategic plan helped 85 firms expand in Denver, collectively creating 1,590 new jobs and making more than $102 million in capital investments. OED’s efforts also supported the retention of 2,600 jobs.
“We’ve enjoyed a strong year of results in 2013, which are reported in detail in our Annual Report,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington. “Bolstered by those successes, we’re pushing ourselves even further—dreaming big, tackling the greatest challenges, and setting stretch goals both internally and externally for exemplary service. Denver is a preferred place to live, work and thrive; this terrific city deserves no less than a top-flight agency to promote and secure its economic future.”
Like previous years, OED’s JumpStart 2014 strategic plan is based on seven major pillars of economic development: business retention, business recruitment, small business advocacy, business lending, key strategic projects, housing and neighborhood development, and workforce development.
Notable tactics from the plan include:
- Establishing a sustainable preservation fund for affordable housing, using best practices from across the country and input from local stakeholders.
- Improving and accelerating low-income Denver residents’ access to fresh and healthy food through a range of collaborative programs.
- Defining, quantifying and targeting the Active Lifestyle sector, a broad classification of companies involving physical or outdoor activity, and incorporate findings into business recruitment.
- Utilizing research on Denver companies with the most extensive supply chain networks and needs, conducting outreach to their major suppliers to make a business case for relocating here.
- Providing a supportive business environment to increase export activity among Denver firms with the greatest potential for exporting goods and services.
- Focusing business lending within certain key business sectors to produce good paying, middle-skill jobs in targeted priority neighborhoods.
- Conducting and publishing an economic analysis of the impact of neighborhood-serving mass transit, projecting the increase of business and retail activity as well as property values and job creation, in identified corridors.
- Focusing and expanding workforce training resources on key high-growth, middle-skill occupations in health care, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.
JumpStart 2014 is available online HERE.