Senate Passes Bipartisan Business Expansion Bill by Senator Linda Newell Today
DENVER —Today, the Senate passed Senate Bill 5, The Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Act by Senator Linda Newell (D-Littleton). This legislation establishes the Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Program in an effort to continue to support local businesses and the employment opportunities they provide. The Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Program will be established by the Governor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and will expand upon Governor John Hickenlooper’s “Colorado Blueprint,” a bottom-up approach to economic expansion.
The Office of Economic Development and International Trade will be responsible for engaging and supporting existing businesses in Colorado, gathering relevant information about their current needs and challenges, and facilitating the relationship between businesses and government resources.
Senator Newell offered the following comment on the Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Act today:
“It is imperative that we continue looking for ways to attract new economic development, but we need to continue supporting our existing businesses. Eighty percent of new job growth comes from the expansion of businesses already in operation, and this bipartisan legislation will help Colorado retain local businesses and help them grow.”
The Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Act is widely praised by members of the business community. Jeff Holwell, Director, Economic Development Group, South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce offered the following endorsement of the bill:
"The South Metro Chamber Economic Development Group is undertaking a massive business retention and expansion effort ourselves. This bill will compliment those efforts and our board has voted unanimously to support it."
The Colorado Business Retention and Expansion Program will:
- Coordinate regional resources to ensure that they are being utilized in an efficient way to effectively benefit Colorado businesses
- Create a clearing house of assistance information and better facilitating communication between the public and private sector aimed at reducing barriers to economic growth
- Build strong relationships between the private sector and economic development partners at the state, regional, and local levels
- Anticipate problems, research solutions, and respond to business-related concerns
- Provide businesses with access to resources available to them as well as information regarding policy initiatives, funding, and other means of assistance through the use of “Business Retention Specialists”
- Create an early warning detection system to connect resources and relationships to companies before they fail or before they need to relocate outside the state
This bill will now head to the House of Representatives where it is sponsored by Representative Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs).