2020 presented unique challenges and opportunities for businesses and community members alike throughout Northern Colorado, the state, nation, and worldwide as the COVID-19 pandemic demanded our attention. Weld County and the Northern Colorado region faired well in terms of unemployment with our heavy workforce in manufacturing, agriculture, and other professions deemed ‘essential’. At Upstate, our work shifted gears from not only helping primary employers, to include surveying businesses and creating and administering programs that helped secondary employers in the food & beverage, retail, and entertainment industries who showed the highest risk of closure.
“Through this past year we have learned the true meaning of resiliency as our public/private network has responded time and time again in protecting our businesses and our citizens in these unprecedented times. It’s the meaningful relationships and dedicated support that now allows us to continue the work of diversifying and growing our regional economy to the benefit of all of our Upstate communities” -Rich Werner, Upstate Colorado CEO & President
Our COVID response allowed us to distribute over $4.5M in grants to 398 local businesses most in need, supporting 3,185 jobs. Visiting our primary employers, we strengthened our relationship with the Northern Colorado Regional Economic Development Initiative by hearing stories of resiliency and growth and shared their stories through the first regional marketing video.
Behind the scenes, Upstate continues to manage the Weld/Larimer Revolving Loan Fund which provides gap financing to businesses locating or expanding to create job opportunities. In 2020, one Revolving Loan Fund loan was paid off, and currently services loans to three companies totaling $1.4M. Upstate also continues to administer the Enterprise Zone program in Weld County for the State of Colorado, approving 157 eligible companies who collectively earned $21.5M in state income tax credits by investing $776.9M, created 226 new jobs, and retained 7,871 jobs.
This year, we thank our partners, municipal leaders, local businesses, and community members for their strength and resiliency in overcoming the challenges this past year has brought upon us all. In lieu of attending an annual investors event, please visit our 2021 Annual Report webpage to hear video messages from business leaders and municipal partners highlighting the work Upstate has accomplished this past year.
Again, we thank you.