Wednesday, July 20, 2011 -- Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced a statewide work plan to spur Colorado’s economy, help businesses grow and attract new jobs to the state. “The Colorado Blueprint: A bottom-up approach to economic development” is the product of an unprecedented effort to engage every county in Colorado on how best to improve the state’s economy.
“Colorado has turned the typical economic development efforts on its head and created a plan with real benchmarks, measurable goals and concrete solutions to help every community create jobs and help businesses thrive,” Hickenlooper said. “We want to thank the thousands of Coloradans who showed their spirit for innovation and contributed to this comprehensive and collaborative approach to economic development.”
The work plan includes specific benchmarks to encourage economic development, including improving access to capital through a new grant program, encouraging broadband internet connections across the state, developing a one-stop-shop for business resources and requiring every department in state government to undergo an audit to reduce red tape.
“This plan will help local business to compete at their best, innovate as the markets demand and build confidence to grow jobs in Colorado,” said Dwayne Romero, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “No other state has engaged its citizens and business the way Colorado has in an effort to find practical solutions that will make a real difference for businesses and communities.”
The Hickenlooper Administration launched the Bottom-Up Economic Development Plan immediately after Inauguration Day to ensure people and businesses throughout Colorado could be involved in encouraging growth in their local communities and have a voice on how best to help businesses succeed.
Since January, more than 13,000 Coloradans from all 64 counties helped create the Colorado Blueprint. A state team composed of representatives of a dozen state agencies and statewide organizations traveled more than 6,000 miles to gather input from every corner, valley and plain that makes up Colorado.
Every county put together a summary expressing the needs, priorities, vision, strengths and weaknesses of its local economy. These county summaries were rolled up into 14 regional statements. This input, including input from all 14 regions, helped form the following six focus areas to promote economic development in Colorado:
I.Create a Business-Friendly Environment
II.Recruit, Grow and Retain Businesses
III.Increase Access to Capital
IV.Create and Market a Stronger Colorado Brand
V.Educate and Train the Workforce of the Future
VI.Cultivate Innovation and Technology
The complete “Colorado Blueprint: A bottom-up approach to economic development” can be reviewed at www.colorado.gov/coloradoblueprint. There is also a public comment survey link online for people throughout the state to offer feedback on the work plan.