#8  Colorado

6.16 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

7.81 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

8.61 out of 10 in Living Environment

A Capital for Cyber Security

Cybersecurity is one of Colorado’s fastest growing industries, with more than 100 purely cybersecurity-based companies in the state employing more than 85,000 people. Last year, Colorado Springs became the home of the newly established National Cybersecurity Center. The state also continues to be viewed nationally as a lab experiment for legalized recreational marijuana. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the industry sold $1.3 billion in medical and recreational marijuana in 2016, generating close to$200 million in tax revenues.

From the Governor

Today, 8 of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the country are west of the Mississippi. And we want to be the best of the West and of the nation. The best state for jobs, the best state for business and the best place to live.” —Gov. John Hickenlooper

Key Industries

Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agriculture, Bioscience, Food & Beverage, Health and Wellness, Homeland Defense, Logistics

Key Companies

Ball Corp.
Boston Market
Celestial Seasonings
Einstein Bros. Bagels
Janus Capital Group
Lockheed Martin
Liberty Tax Service
United Airlines
Charter Communications

Key Contacts

Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Stephanie Copeland, Executive Director
(303) 892-3840
1625 Broadway, Suite 2700
Denver, CO 80202
[email protected]

Key Incentives

Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit: Provides a state income tax credit to businesses undertaking projects that create at least 20 jobs with annual wages of at least 100% of the average county wage.

Strategic Fund: Offers job creation incentives of up to $5,000 per job for jobs with average annual wages of 140% of the average county wage.

Colorado First Customized Job Training Program: Offers up to $1,200 per employee in training that can be provided by one of Colorado’s community colleges, a provider of the company’s choosing or an in-house trainer.

Enterprise Zone Tax Credits: Numerous investment and workforce tax credits for companies operating in economically distressed areas.


Colorado Office of Economic Development
and International Trade: choosecolorado.com

Economic Development Council of Colorado: edcconline.org

Upstate Colorado Economic Development: upstatecolorado.org

Northern Colorado Economic Alliance: northerncolorado.com

Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.: metrodenver.org

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Colorado Innovation Network (COIN) is a public-private partnership and virtual network of more than 2,000 global leaders that support the state’s innovation ecosystem, new companies and job creation.

Big Deals

  • BP announced in December 2016 it would establish its new Lower 48 headquarters in Denver.
  • Amazon announced in January 2017 it would open a one-million-square-foot fulfillment center and create 1,000 jobs in Aurora.
  • Smuckers announced in January 2017 it would construct a $340 million manufacturing facility in Longmont and create 250 jobs to produce its Uncrustables snacks.
  • Vertafore announced in May 2017 it would relocate its headquarters from Bothell/Seattle to Denver and hire up to 500 new employees.
  • Western Union announced in August 2017 it would relocate its headquarters to the Denver Tech Center.

Big Companies

10 Fortune 500 Companies headquartered in state, including:
Western Union
Arrow Electronics
DISH Network

C-Suite Testimonials

“This new plant to be built at the foot of the Rockies will ensure we can continue to meet increasing demand across the country. We are thrilled to build our first manufacturing facility in Colorado and greatly appreciate the support we have received for this exciting project from officials representing Longmont, Weld County and the state of Colorado.” —Mark Smucker, President and CEO, J.M. Smucker Co.

“With two-thirds of our operated oil and natural gas production and proved reserves in the Rockies, world-class universities nearby and a wealth of industry expertise in the region, Denver is a logical and strategic place for us to be and a natural fit for our business.” —David Lawler, CEO, BP Lower 48

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