Denver announces Legacy Business designations, opens applications

Published on January 10, 2024

Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) is announcing the city’s first round of Legacy Businesses and opening applications citywide for round two of the Denver Legacy Business program.

Announced in 2023, Denver’s first-ever Legacy Business program is designed to recognize and support longstanding small, locally owned businesses. This pilot program is modeled after other successful implementations of Legacy Business designations in San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX.  

A Legacy Business is defined as a longstanding, independent business that has contributed to community character and vitality and holds cultural significance. Among other criteria, the business has operated for more than ten years, has annual gross revenue between $30,000 and $5M, and currently has a brick-and-mortar location in the City and County of Denver. Businesses that meet eligibility criteria are invited to apply or be nominated to participate in Denver’s Legacy Business program.  

The pilot program was first launched in the city’s 18 Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization (NEST) neighborhoods. The first round of designated Denver Legacy Business are: A Small Print Shop LLC; Athmar Mart; Bernwood Custom Design LLC; ColeFusion Fitness; The Colorado Tent Company; Denver Fencing Center; Econo Emissions & Auto Services Inc.; Ink Monstr; Lucero's Mexican Food; Mobiletopia LLC/ Boost; Truong An Gifts Inc.; and The Word Bibles, Gifts & Music. Designated Denver Legacy Businesses can also be found on the city’s Denver Legacy Business registry.

"While we're always excited to support new businesses that are growing up in Denver, there is nothing more important than supporting the existing businesses that have been carrying our neighborhoods for generations," said Mayor Mike Johnston. "We're happy to announce the first round of the Denver Legacy Business Program to help provide critical support to these neighborhood institutions.”

“We are thrilled to announce the first Legacy Business designees as well as open applications citywide,” said Adeeb Khan, Executive Director of DEDO. “Small businesses are vital to our economy and without a doubt contribute to Denver’s uniqueness and vibrancy. We want to ensure we are recognizing and supporting these businesses that not only have impressive longevity but are important to community character.”

Applications are now open citywide and guidelines, eligibility criteria, industry classifications, and details on information sessions for applicants are available online. Information sessions and details about the program are available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The deadline to apply is Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 5 p.m.