#12  Colorado

From the Governor

“We will give shut-down factories and mines a new mission and create jobs by bringing local governments and business together to bring new industries to rural Colorado.” —Gov. Jared Polis

Aerospace Propelling Economy to New Heights

The Centennial State is literally propelling its economy to new heights. Colorado is growing as an aerospace hub, with more than 180 aerospace companies and 500 companies and suppliers offering space-related products and services. Space professionals gathered at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in April determined that the aerospace industry now generates a $15.4 billion economic impact in the state. The Denver airport is also growing as a domestic and international hub and recently reached a new milestone as one of four U.S. airports with more than 200 nonstop connections.

Key Contacts

Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Betsy Markey, Executive Director
(303) 892-3840
1625 Broadway, Suite 2700
Denver, CO 80202

Key Incentives

Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit: Offers a state income tax credit for businesses that create at least 20 jobs with annual wages of at least 100% of the county average where they are located.

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

Enterprise Zone Tax Credits: Offers a variety of investment and workforce tax credits for companies operating in economically distressed areas.

Strategic Fund: Offers incentives of up to $5,000 for each job created with an annual salary of at least 140% the average county wage.


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

The Blueprint 2.0 program continues to address economic development goals in rural parts of the state. New initiatives announced in 2018 include helping communities address everything from co-working and branding to entrepreneurship.

Big Deals

  • GPS tracking app producer Strava announced in January 2018 that it will open a new office in Denver and add 89 net new jobs over the next eight years.
  • Maxar Technologies moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Westminster in April 2018.
  • Defense solution provider Polaris Alpha announced a major expansion of its Colorado offices and the addition of 450 jobs in Denver and Colorado Springs in April 2018.
  • Lending platform Funding Circle announced in April 2018 an expansion of its U.S. operations with a second office in Denver and more than 290 new jobs in the next two years.
  • Personal genomics company Helix announced in June 2018 a new office in Denver and the acquisition of Denver-based HumanCode.
  • Apparel company VF Corp., owner of The North Face and Jansport, announced in August 2018 that it will move its headquarters to Denver, bringing 800 jobs.

Big Companies

10 Fortune 500 Companies are headquartered in the state:

Western Union
DISH Network
Arrow Electronics
Molson Coors Brewery
Ball Corp.
Qurate Retail
DCP Midstream
Liberty Media
Newmont Mining

C-Suite Testimonials

“Colorado is an area with an unrivaled heritage and culture of outdoor and activity-based lifestyles, as well as a thriving business environment…. It is a great strategic fit for our business, and we are excited to be relocating our headquarters and several brands to the metro Denver area next year.” —Steve Rendle, Chairman, President and CEO, VF

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Colorado Economic Development Commission, Gov. Hickenlooper and the state of Colorado for job growthbased incentives, as well as for the significant support offered by the cty of Westminster and Adams County.” —Howard L. Lance, President and CEO, Maxar Technologies

“With the abundance of talent in Denver, we know it’s a perfect fit for our mission and team…. Colorado is a magnet for tech companies and active people because of its progressive approach to city planning and the outdoors.”—James Quarles, CEO, Strava

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