By February 16, 2015 Read More →

Fourth annual strategic plan to strengthen Denver’s vibrant economy

Feb. 12, 2015. Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) today released JumpStart 2015 to keep Denver’s vibrant economy firing on all cylinders, growing good jobs and creating opportunity for all Denver residents to succeed.

Denver’s economy has added 36,000 new jobs and 2,200 new businesses since 2011. JumpStart 2015 sets out a bold roadmap for the year ahead to continue to strengthen Denver’s economy.

“By clearly charting a course for this city’s economy, Denver today has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, is a hub of innovation and is one of the best places to find a job and start a business,” Mayor Hancock said. “Our plans have been proactive and intentional – and because of our focused approach this city of opportunity is open for business. But we have much more work ahead. JumpStart 2015 will work to ensure the economic prosperity we’re seeing today extends to everyone.”

Mayor Hancock also announced critical economic growth that resulted from JumpStart 2014. Denver created 3,311 jobs, retained 4,083 jobs, and accrued $139 million in capital investments by Denver firms.

To capitalize on that momentum, JumpStart 2015 identifies major, proactive steps OED will take this year to bolster business development, innovation, entrepreneurship, neighborhood investment and a workforce built for the 21st century. The plan also includes a two-year action plan outlining immediate objectives and tasks supporting the city’s Housing Denver long-term affordable housing strategy.

“Taking a deliberate, proactive and intentional approach to our development strategy has delivered strong dividends for the city, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents,” said OED executive director Paul Washington. “We look forward to continued success and working with our many community partners to further shape our great city.

As in previous years, JumpStart 2015 hones in on seven strategic pillars of economic development: business retention, small business advocacy, business recruitment, housing, strategic lending, neighborhood development and workforce development. Each pillar includes several initiatives, goals, and partners with which the OED will collaborate to put the plan into action.

Notable tactics from the plan include:

  • Building access to capital for small businesses through the creation of a new small business loan fund with partners, continued support of Denver’s venture capital investment community, and support for a new local Small Business Investment Company program
  • Developing proposed changes to the city’s housing preservation ordinance to create a stronger tool to preserve affordable housing citywide
  • Driving equitable neighborhood development by issuing and examining a gentrification study that will focus on the impacts of revitalization on low-income areas and residents
  • Elevating Denver’s active lifestyle business sector
  • Sparking growth of Denver’s manufacturing industry, including the creation of a new manufacturing and innovation hub in Denver’s neighborhoods
  • Supporting the launch of a new STEM academy in West Denver
  • Focusing and expanding workforce training resources on key high-growth, middle skill occupations healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and construction
  • Integrating workforce development services through other locations including Headstart, Denver Public Library, Parks & Recreation, Denver Housing Authority and DIA
  • Launching a scalable, pilot program to help export-ready firms access international trade markets
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