Business attraction and retention efforts highlighted in Denver Office of Economic Development Annual Report
Denver’s business recruitment and retention efforts saw a sharp boost in 2012, according to an annual report issued today by the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED). The report states that 2012 was the most successful year ever for the city’s Business Incentive Fund, which helped attract and/or retain eight firms in Denver, creating 1,638 future jobs and $6 million in direct fiscal benefit over a five-year period. The business expansions are projected to provide $162.1 million in capital investment to Denver.
“Lifting and connecting our neighborhoods through reinvestment were a prime focus of our Office of Economic Development’s JumpStart 2012 plans,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “By cultivating new markets and smart, strategic investments in our businesses and neighborhoods, we’ve helped solidify Denver as a city with leading industries, diverse businesses and a growing multimodal transportation system that connects them all.”
The job growth is one of many highlights included in the annual report, which presents key outcomes of the OED’s JumpStart 2012 strategic plan, as well as other signature wins gained in the areas of business retention, business recruitment, small business advocacy, business lending, sustainable neighborhood development and workforce development.
Other achievements highlighted in the annual report include:
- Improvements to OED’s business lending portfolio, resulting in a significant drop in the portfolio’s delinquent/default rate from 19.9 percent one year ago to a current rate of 8.7 percent, while generating more than $4 million of program income
- Positioning Denver as a key location for national venture capital investment through the establishment of a Colorado Alumni Club in Palo Alto, Calif., as well as the convening of a venture capital roundtable between Mayor Hancock and local and national venture capital communities
- Release of a Business Startup Checklist, designed to provide a roadmap to opening a business in the City and County of Denver
- Commitment to create and/or rehabilitate 471 affordable housing units throughout the city
- Enhancing neighborhood vitality by supporting 30 separate neighborhood development projects, utilizing federal Community Development Block Grant funds
- Serving more than 35,000 individuals with job search assistance through the Denver Workforce Centers
- Launched the city’s first-ever business plan competition, drawing entries from more than 150 small businesses throughout various industries
“Our JumpStart strategy has set in motion a higher standard of accountability for OED by clearly articulating our game plan for creating jobs, advancing development and creating a stronger world-class city,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington.
Established in 2005, the Business Incentive Fund supports business relocations and expansions resulting in job creation and additional tax revenues. The OED uses the fund to contract with firms to provide new jobs and investment to the city. Incentive payments are made on a reimbursement basis, following the creation of new jobs as verified through the city’s business tax collections.
2012 contracted projects include Colorado Premium, SCL Health System, Southwest Airlines, Raymond James and Zachry Engineering. Additionally, OED is in the process of finalizing contracts with three additional firms. Collectively, these projects are projected to receive up to $1.28 million in Business Incentive Fund payments, representing a return-on-investment of nearly $5 for every dollar expended.
Copies of the annual report are available online at www.denvergov.org/oed.
View 2012 Annual Report