PEP Guest Outlines Rural Jump Start Program



Morgan VanKat, a representative from OEDIT, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, outlined a state program developed to provide tax relief and grants for new business start-ups and business relocations, specifically in rural areas of the state.

“We’re targeting those communities and counties that are experiencing economic distress,” she explained to the Prowers Economic Prosperity board during its November 21st monthly meeting.  There are various criteria as to what constitutes economic distress and OEDIT is the governing body that makes that determination.

VanKat explained that the tax relief does not include property taxes, but a business that fits the criteria can apply for relief in several ways. In a designated rural jump-start zone, benefits include relief from:

state income taxes for the new business

state sales and use tax for the business

100% of county personal property taxes for the business municipal personal property taxes for the business (in participating municipalities)

100% of state income taxes for the employee

Local governments also sometimes provide additional tax relief from other county or municipal taxes.

Approved companies and their employees have four years of tax relief, with the possibility of extending it another four years. Your business may use rural jump-start tax credits only for each year you receive them. These tax credits do not carry forward to future years.

“The program will expire by the end of June in 2024 and we’d like to see local businesses who can qualify apply while the door is still open,” she said, noting that sponsorships from educational sources such as Lamar Community College or PEP is required.  Companies must meet requirements for new hires and with some flexibility, must export their products out of the grant zone.

In other action, the PEP board set their 2023 meeting dates as well as the Brewing for Business meeting schedule for the first Thursday of the month at 7am at Brew Unto Others, South Main Street in Lamar.  The public meetings provide timely business information for interested owners, managers or local residents.

Taking a long view, board member Lawrence Brase suggested PEP begin to monitor construction developments for the long-awaited Arkansas Valley Conduit program, connecting potable water to communities between Pueblo and Lamar.  First proposed in 1962, the multi-million dollar venture has received significant funding over the past two years and could become a reality in seven years.  “It will have an impact on our area’s water supply and we should become acquainted with its development for future business interests,” he suggested.

As a follow up to PEP’s social VIP meeting last month, Executive Director, Cheryl Sanchez, will stay in touch with interested parties and contact will be made to absentee board members or their delegates to have representation to the monthly meetings.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyFeatured


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