A tax holiday for your business

How to take advantage of Colorado’s new jump-start tax credit

In January, Gov. John Hickenlooper proclaimed Mesa County Colorado’s first-ever Jump-Start “tax-free” zone, activating a program that provides startups and expanding businesses serious tax relief for up to eight years. These incentives include:

  • no state income taxes;
  • no state sales & use taxes;
  • no county and municipal business personal property tax for your business; and
  • no state income taxes for your employees.

In Mesa County, businesses are also exempt from local sales and use tax as well as real property tax.

To take advantage of the Jump-Start program, follow these three steps:

  1. Determine if your business qualifies.

Jump-Start provides a tremendous opportunity for businesses in Colorado to get off the ground and accelerate growth. But, it is a reciprocal program. By providing support to business, the state expects to spur employment and economic growth in some of our more rural areas. Here are the basic requirements to qualify:

  • Jump-Start is open to a wide variety of businesses – startups, companies that are new to the state, or a company that already operates in Colorado and wants to expand. Regardless of your status, however, your company has to generate new business in the state. That means your product, service or technology has to be brand-new to Colorado, even if your company isn’t!
  • You have to be willing to locate your business in a Jump-Start zone. Right now, Mesa County, Colorado, is the one and only Jump-Start zone. The state plans to name two additional rural counties to the program sometime in 2016.
  • Your business must create a minimum of 5 net new jobs within the Jump-Start zone by the end of 2017. These jobs cannot be existing jobs that you're just relocating from another part of the state.
  • Your business must establish a relationship with a local institution of higher education (IHE) to create internships, mentorship opportunities and/or to conduct applied research.
  1. Apply.

Your first step to applying for the program is to create an account with the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. You will then receive information on how to file your application through a designated Institute of Higher Education (IHE) within your Jump-Start zone.

Jump-Start is a joint effort between counties and their municipalities, businesses and public colleges, or IHEs. The IHEs will manage the programs locally, and in order for a business to participate, it has to first be endorsed by an IHE within the Jump-Start zone. But, it's not as complicated as it might sound. According to Colorado Mesa University (CMU), their job is first to assist any business applying in Mesa County manage the next steps in the application process. Once a business is accepted into the program, CMU will connect you with the resources your business needs to succeed, in particular a well-educated, technically skilled workforce.

  1. Connect!

Jump-Start is designed to do exactly that — give your business a jump start. But it's only one piece of the puzzle toward the growth of your business. Finding the right location, understanding your market, developing a strong industry network and accessing the right financial support are other key parts to your success. An economic development organization in your Jump-Start zone, like the Grand Junction Economic Partnership in Mesa County, can connect you with all of the resources you need in order to grow and build a successful business. 

(Editor's note: This sponsored content is provided by the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.)

Categories: Company Perspectives, Sponsored Content