Economic partnership makes ‘big ask’ of Steamboat Springs City Council
John Bristol, the executive director of the Routt County Economic Development Partnershipis asking the City of Steamboat Springs for $147,509 to help the investor-led economic development organization expand and diversify commerce in Routt County.
In a presentation to City Council on Tuesday September 6, Bristol said the Economic Development Partnership would use the money to support the retention, expansion and attraction of key businesses and jobs.
“These businesses that sell their goods and services outside of the county, bringing new dollars, new capital into the county,” Bristol said.
A top priority for the Economic Development Partnership is attracting new businesses through the Rural Startup Program, which provides tax credits and networking opportunities to businesses new to Colorado in “Rural Startup Areas.” , as defined in a state bill passed in 2015. .
During the Bristol presentation, he described the Location Neutral Employment (LONE) program, which provides cash incentives to businesses that are new to Colorado to hire remote workers in an eligible county outside of the county where the project is based.
Routt County is classified as a “Just Transition Rural Jump-Start” county, which means that for every remote worker residing in Routt County that a new business in Colorado hires, the business receives $5,000 .
If Bristol’s funding requests are approved, the partnership’s 2023 budget of $428,516 would include an investment of $130,000 from Routt County, $147,509 from Steamboat Springs, $11,583 from Hayden, $4,245 from Oak Creek and $2,879 from the town of Yampa.
The partnership budget also includes $77,300 from private investors and $55,000 from grants and other sources.
Bristol said it based the requested amounts on calculations derived from the local municipalities’ population, assessed assessment and the size of their general fund.
During his presentation, Bristol identified three economic sectors that he believes need the most growth in Routt County. Manufacturing, management of companies and enterprises, and professional, scientific, and technical services were described as well below the state average in Routt.
Over the past six months, according to Bristol, the Routt County Economic Development Partnership has helped secure $295,000 in business grants. He foresees the creation of 62 new direct jobs thanks to the work of his organization. It projects salaries north of $46,000 per year with a total of more than $2.8 million per year in new Routt County revenue.
“The economic impact (is) approximately $29 million,” Bristol said. “It’s not guaranteed yet, but that’s the hope.”
The city council praised Bristol for its presentation, but asked for more details on what the organization does.
“We want to be able to give you money, but we want to know what works,” said City Council member Heather Sloop, who added that the amount requested was a “big ask.”
Bristol accepted the council’s request.
The discussion on the funding request will potentially continue at the regular meeting of the city council on October 4.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at [email protected]