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EDCC Recovery and Growth Roadmap

By harnessing the knowledge and expertise of our contingency along with extensive recovery research, EDCC’s goal is to help educate, inform, and advocate for near and long-term resiliency applications to help spur economic recovery.

Colorado faces unprecedented economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  With these challenges comes a unique opportunity for Colorado to lead the nation in economic recovery. Colorado’s diverse economy positions it well to respond better than most, but significant work, collaboration, and openness to new ideas will still be needed from community and business leaders to succeed. 

EDCC is committed to leading this effort by engaging our vast community of economic development stakeholders including local, regional, and state leaders. By harnessing the knowledge and expertise of our contingency along with extensive recovery research, EDCC’s goal is to help educate, inform, and advocate for near and long-term resiliency applications to help spur economic recovery.

It is important to recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health challenge. For any economic recovery to be successful, a strong, efficient, and effective government and community response is necessary to enable business reopening and guard against the need for future shutdowns with any potential virus resurgence. This is a critical imperative that is recognized up front. 

What  follows is a roadmap to weather the storm, and emerge on the other side stronger, better, and more resilient:

A Healthy Buisness Climate

    Support a stable, predictable regulatory environment that seeks to identify and eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies.
      • Identify needs of key industries that have been most impacted by COVID and implement supportive public policy measures that meet identified needs.  
      • Provide guidance to businesses on safely re-engaging both employees and customers  
      • Minimize the impact of liability for businesses as they re-open.  
      • Promote policies that help keep both business liability and business costs (unemployment insurance, health insurance, etc.) steady post COVID. 
      Advocate for appropriate review of need and cost of compliance before repealing, amending, or creating regulations, taxes, or fees.
      • Support programs and policies that minimize the financial impact on businesses and localities post COVID.
      • Address the issue of deferred revenue (ex: rent, utility bills, sales and property tax) following assessment of the impact on localities, businesses, tenants and consumers.
      • Support Tabor and Gallagher Reform to allow communities to recover post COVID and beyond.
      • Oppose ballot initiatives that add cost and regulation to the business community.
      • Identify opportunities to reduce business cost (ex: fee reduction/waivers).
      Support legislation and initiatives that encourage economic stability.
      • Enable additional access to short term capital for “main street” and the small business community with special consideration for additional capital for existing and new revolving loan funds 
      • Retain economic development programs and incentives that are already in place that encourage business retention, expansion, and attraction. 
      • Encourage investment into Opportunity Zones across the state by advocating for the extension of the capital gains deferment and other activities to increase Opportunity Zone project visibility. 
      • Support retention, expansion, and attraction of economically resilient key industries. 
      • Support programs that enable growth in employee ownership business models. 
      • Create programs that connect the creative industry with local retailers, restaurants, small businesses to grow their businesses by tapping into the consumer desire for experiences. 
      • Advocate for the development of technical resources supporting business modernization and resiliency in a post-COVID era including technical training for small businesses disproportionately affected by COVID. 
      • Encourage local communities and economic development organizations to reconsider existing economic development plans to address structural changes catalyzed by COVID.  
      Enable equitable access to economic opportunity
      • Ensure equitable access to economic recovery initiatives (capital, training, business support, entrepreneurial ecosystem, etc.) 
      • Support programs that provide resources to the workforce most impacted by COVID including front-line workers and historically under-resourced communities.  
      • Support development of affordable and attainable housing. 

       

      Effective, Well-Maintained Infrastructure

        Maintaining a healthy business support ecosystem
        • Sustain Economic Development professionals and organizations as they are a key pillar to the foundation of economic recovery.  
        Encourage innovative ideas to fund high priority transportation and infrastructure projects that contribute to Colorado’s economic recovery.
        •  Promote policies that contribute to onshoring of targeted industries including critical manufacturing that can address supply chain gaps (food systems, health manufacturers, etc.) 
        • Support statewide efforts that promote a diverse energy economy to help make Colorado a national leader in energy development. 
        • Promote policies that enable renewable energy development. 
        • Ensure a vital energy sector including carbon neutral and net zero fossil fuel electric generation.  
        • Enable COVID-proofing of key transportation assets (airports, light rail stations, etc.) 
        • Enable the transition of the built environment in response to COVID by recognizing and responding to the needs of the business community to adapt spaces quickly.  
        Ensure predictable and reliable utility and broadband services to businesses, educators, and individuals in rural and underserved urban areas.
        • Maintain support for programs and incentives that help fund the expansion and deployment of broadband in rural and underserved urban areas to support economic and workforce development. 
        Support policies that reduce barriers to local housing and mixed-use development.
        • Enable flexibility in existing economic development programs such as urban renewal 
        • Support policies that increase flexibility and speed to development and identify solutions to local barriers to development such as “not in my back yard” (NIMBY) constituents 

        A Capable, Well-Educated Workforce

          Support our training partners, community colleges, and universities in their missions to better educate and supply Colorado businesses with a highly educated and competitive workforce.
          • Identify sustainable funding and operating models for the education community – community colleges, universities, and professional training programs – that enables it to continue in a post-COVID environment to provide high quality education that produces a competitive workforce, furthers industry advancement and research, supports economic developers in business attraction and retention, and provides ancillary benefits from student spending.   
          Support initiatives that expand workforce competencies and upskill individuals including career and technical training for students at all levels of the educational system.
          • Identify and upskill displaced workers to fill jobs in demand. 
          • Support programs to enhance the ability for remote work across Colorado including education and certification for employees, support infrastructure in communities like co-working spaces, and enhanced broadband availability.  

           

          Support our workforce and small business development partners in their efforts to create and sustain a quality workforce and provide access to meaningful employment for all Coloradoans, which energizes statewide economic vitality.
          •  Support programs that provide small businesses the technical assistance needed to sustain and grow in a post COVID environment (robust web presence, social media, e-commerce platform, disaster planning, financial education to maintain sustainable balance sheets during economic shocks, etc.) 
          • Increase support for entrepreneurship and new business owners to help recover from COVID-induced business closures 
          Support continued recruitment of a highly educated and competitive workforce.
          • Enable sustainability and expansion of quality of life and experiential assets (cultural amenities, outdoor amenities, parks, trails, placemaking assets) 
          • Explore initiatives to create a competitive advantage for Colorado (attractive tax structure, minimizing student debt burden, etc.) 

           

          Enable equitable access to economic opportunity by practicing inclusive economic development and striving for shared prosperity among all communities and people.