Governor Hickenlooper Announces Blueprint for Colorado
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Posted by: Su Hawk
‘Colorado Blueprint’ sets economic development goals for Hickenlooper
Denver Business Journal - by Ed Sealover
Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 12:01am MDT
Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade unveiled a six-point innovation-focused economic development plan for the state Wednesday, the product of six months of meetings with local business leaders to determine what the state can do to help the economy improve.
The "Colorado Blueprint” lays out a series of tasks for Gov. John Hickenlooper and members of his administration to accomplish, ranging from broad issues such as increasing the level of government responsiveness to businesses to specific tasks like leading a trade mission to Asia in early 2012.
Hickenlooper is scheduled to address the document, which can be viewed at www.colo.gov/coloradoblueprint, at a news conference Wednesday morning.
The blueprint — named to signify that it is a schematic rather than an end product — focuses on six specific goals.
• Create a business-friendly environment by ending unfunded state mandates to local governments, increasing the state’s level of customer service, implementing a new tax-filing system for businesses and making government more efficient;
• Recruit, grow and retain businesses by developing statewide protocols for company attraction, pursuing specific industry clusters, creating a growth and retention plan for existing businesses and strengthening downtown improvements across Colorado;
• Increase access to capital by creating a collateral program to help small businesses get credit, investigating creation of a state-run venture capital program, directing tax funding to regional tourism projects and promoting increased communication between the banking and business communities;
• Create and market a Colorado brand by implementing a new brand campaign in 2012, developing a long-term vision for the state, engaging industry leaders in marketing and promoting Colorado and developing heritage and cultural tourism and agri-tourism across the state;
• Better educate and train the future workforce by aligning the efforts of education and workforce training, matching job seekers to training for existing businesses, promoting industry-driven career opportunities to students and increasing the availability of quality entrepreneurial training; and,
• Cultivate innovation and technology by improving telecommunications technologies, establishing a cluster-focused Information Technology Economic Development Advisory Council, implementing an initiative and innovation network and exporting the state’s innovation-based services and products.
The plan has specific timelines for accomplishing each goal and a specific group of elected officials, including Hickenlooper himself, assigned to work on each of the tasks.
"In two to three years, I’d love for our general reputation and our street cred to be: ‘Oh, well, Colorado has progressed,’” said Dwayne Romero, OEDIT director until Aug. 1. "To the extent that we can improve our model, work more collaboratively and send that signal to the rest of the world ... other states will try to replicate what we are.”
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