Weld County and its municipalities are actively pursuing opportunities that will strengthen and enhance the local economy. We are prepared to work closely with businesses to make a location/expansion a reality. For additional information on any of the programs listed please contact the Upstate Colorado Economic Development office at 970-356-4565.
Upstate Colorado Administered Programs
Upstate Colorado administers the Weld/Larimer Revolving Loan Fund, utilizing federal funds to provide gap financing for companies that expand the job base in rural Weld and Larimer Counties.
Upstate Colorado administers the Greeley Community Development Fund, which extends financial assistance to qualifying companies that plan to expand or to locate in Greeley.
Colorado’s Enterprise Zone (EZ) program provides a variety of state tax incentives to encourage businesses to locate or expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state, including select Weld County communities and locations.
The WW Labor Team is a small “working group” of labor, education and economic development professionals partnering to help employers quickly recruit, train and further develop their workforce. The team identifies labor development opportunities by comprehensively reviewing and managing various local, county and state Workforce Assistance Programs. Technical labor assistance is provided to new companies looking to locate to the region and existing employers expanding facing employment challenges. Core members include Employment Services of Weld County, Upstate Colorado Economic Development and Aims Community College. Other organizations (municipal, university,
college, etc.) will be included, as warranted.
college, etc.) will be included, as warranted.
This program was designed to provide assistance to ensure the educated, trained and skilled workforce needed by Weld employers and is an investment in our long-term economic success. Bright Futures provides an educational stipend to each high school graduate, GED recipient or honorably discharged US veteran who wants to pursue post-secondary education/training from an accredited higher education institution or certified training program. Eligible students must be a resident of Weld County and attend an eligible higher education program. The Bright Futures cash stipend is $2,000/year for up to four years. A 50% personal property tax credit is also available to encourage business and individuals to help fund this educational stipend and participate in increasing/improving the local talent pool.
Weld County Business Assistance Program
With 31 communities, Weld County offers many diverse location opportunities from rural to small town and urban centers. Municipalities may provide incentives based on an adopted incentive policy or on a case-by-case basis to qualifying companies. Qualification and incentives will vary depending upon community but could include partial waivers of development fees, personal property tax, sales/use tax, streamlined development procedures, etc. Learn more about each community by clicking the link below.
Through state enabling legislation counties and cities, on a case-by-case basis, can negotiate with qualifying companies a rebate of up to 100% (Weld government & municipalities will consider up to 50%) of the jurisdiction’s levy on new taxable personal property, for up to ten years. The property investment of at least $1 million must be used in connection with the operation of a qualifying new or expanded primary business facility that meets all state and local guidelines.
The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a non-profit lender specializing in loans up to $250,000 to support small business. CEF lends to start-up and existing businesses with rates/terms that vary and lending guidelines that can be more flexible than traditional banks. CEF administrators the Weld County Business Loan Fund which is only available to Weld based small businesses who meet CEF program underwriting criteria. Upon becoming a CEF borrower, an online community of expertise, knowledge sharing, resources, and referrals is available to help a business achieve peak performance. Advisory assistance includes bookkeeping, cash flow management, profitability analysis, technology issues, etc.
This Weld business assistance program is designed to provide financial assistance by reducing upfront development costs (land use applications, building permits and some impact fees) for eligible small businesses locating or expanding in unincorporated, rural Weld County. The maximum award amount is $40,000 and based on new/retained job creation. After consulting with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), any business owner or tenant with 25 or fewer employees is eligible to complete the program application, which includes submittal of a business plan and forward to the Weld Planning Department for review.
Aims is dedicated to providing an educated and trained workforce for business and industry through its regularly scheduled 200+ degree and certificate programs that offer more than 4,000 daytime, evening, weekend and online course offerings. Aims designs courses to achieve one of two goals: transfer as credit to a four-year university or certify students to step directly into a job role. Through the Center for Workforce Development & Community Partnerships, Aims works closely with local employers to customize programs to meet their specific needs. Some of the most popular training programs include Communications Skills, Technical Industrial training, Software, Management/Leadership, Language, and Business Skills Development training. In addition, Aims provides administrative support to Weld business for the Colorado FIRST Customized Job Training program and is a key member of the Weld WORKS Labor Team, which provides technical labor assistance to help employers quickly recruit, train and further develop their workforce.
ESWC is funded by the Department of Labor and Employment, plus other federal programs, and provides a broad menu of customized labor services to employers – most at NO CHARGE. Services include Job Posting, Employee Recruitment, Screening and Referrals, Job Fairs, etc. Through their Assessment and Learning Lab, ESWC offers a flexible, self-paced learning alternative for employers’ interested in offering a variety of training including computerized instruction and GED 1/2018 preparation. In addition, the Assessment and Learning Lab has a variety of behavioral trait assessments for job candidates. The On-the-Job Training Program (OJT) provides employers an opportunity to offset labor costs during the training period by up to 50% while assisting job candidates to acquire specific training. Federal tax credits may also be available for hiring a variety of special category job applicants. ESWC can determine if applicants meet federal guidelines and assist in program administration. ESWC is a key member of the Weld WORKS Labor Team which provides technical labor assistance to help employers quickly recruit, train and further develop their workforce.
This business-led, free membership organization is designed to support Northern Colorado manufactures through Business Networking, Lunch and Learn Presentations, Industry Certification/Tools Information and Manufacturing Talent/Rocks, which introduces our future workforce to manufacturing careers by connecting them with tours of local manufacturers, school presentations, and internship opportunities, etc. This regional effort is led by business in partnership with economic development, education, and workforce development and is served by Board of Directors representing each group. This partnership focus is on two main industry sectors – Health and Wellness and Advanced Manufacturing.
The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (CSBDC) is dedicated to helping existing and new businesses grow and prosper in Colorado by providing free and confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs. The East/Central SBDC is located in Greeley and serves businesses in Weld County and eastern Colorado with a team of business experts ready to help you create and retain jobs, secure loans, increase sales, win government contracts, obtain certifications and more. The SBDC combines information and resources from federal, state and local governments with those of the education system and private sector to meet the specialized and complex needs of the small business community.
State Assistance Programs - Eligible in Weld County
Purchases of eligible machinery or machine tools and parts thereof, are exempt from state sales/use tax when the machinery will be used in manufacturing. Qualifying equipment must be used “directly and predominantly” to manufacture tangible personal property for sale or profit; must be capitalized, and be included on a purchase order or invoice totaling more than $500. If located within an Enterprise Zone the exemption is broader and includes materials for the construction/repair of manufacturing equipment, mining equipment, and the equipment does not have to be capitalized to qualify. To claim this exemption complete the Sales Tax Exemption on Purchases of Machinery and Machine Tools (DR1191) form as directed.
Training grant dollars are available for qualifying new/expanding primary sector companies. Grants are awarded to assist with the cost of training new or retraining existing employees. The company must contribute at least 40% of the training costs and the program may then contribute up to $1,200/employee trained to a maximum of $100,000/company per year. Training awards are based on actual training needs/costs. Eligible grant uses can include instructor’s wages, curriculum development, training supplies, etc. and require substantive instruction. Federal or state-mandated training is not eligible. The new/retained jobs must be permanent, full-time and pay an average wage greater than $12.00/hr. (in Weld County). The company must provide a health insurance plan and the state requires a confidential financial review and on-site visit. Aims Community College is the administrator of this program on behalf of Weld companies and can determine eligible training activities and assist in writing and administrate the grant. Grant dollars are awarded on a competitive basis and the application deadline is generally the first week in August of each year.
The program offers a performance‐based incentive commitment to eligible businesses making a significant capital investment that create new full‐time, permanent jobs paying at or above the average county wage and other specified requirements. The program is designed to support highly desirable and high‐impact job creation. The cash incentive may range from $2,000‐$5,000 per net new full‐time job created based on the average wage rate, location and other factors up to a total award of $500,000. There must be a strong level of local matching commitments and the business must demonstrate project feasibility and financial capability. Business decisions clearly moving forward without this assistance will not be considered for funding if an announcement has been made prior to an introduction to the Economic Development Commission (EDC) who makes all award decisions. Businesses that receive approval must execute a contract with the state which will authorize disbursement of funds when specified contract terms have been met.
This program offers state income tax credits to primary sector businesses undertaking job creation projects where a CO location is competing with at least one other state and this tax credit is a “major factor” in the business decision to locate or retain the project in CO. Qualifying businesses may be eligible to claim up to 50% of qualifying employee FICA costs for up to 96 consecutive months as a state income tax credit. To qualify, businesses must create at least 20 new FTE jobs during the 96 consecutive month credit period with average yearly wages of at least 100% of the county average wage rate. The jobs must be maintained for at least one year. In addition, the local community must provide rationale outlining the project’s economic importance. The project is subject to state Economic Development Commission (EDC) approval. Business decisions clearly moving forward without assistance will not be considered for tax credits. Business already receiving an incentive from the EDC may not receive an incentive from this program for the same new FTE jobs.
This program was created to promote growth & sustainability in advanced industries by helping drive innovation, accelerate commercialization, encourage public-private partnerships and increase access to early-stage capital. Colorado’s advanced industries include aerospace, advanced manufacturing, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources (including Cleantech), infrastructure engineering and technology and information. For qualifying companies/projects, the state offers four types of grants ($15,000-$500,000) and two global business programs. Grants are available for Proof of Concept, Early-stage Capital & Retention, Infrastructure Funding and AI Exports.
The state Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) international staff helps companies obtain the information, skills, resources, and contacts they need to successfully export goods and services worldwide. Services include the opportunity to apply for small export development grants, trade show and foreign mission trip opportunities, export counseling, education, etc.
The Minority Business Office (MBO) is dedicated to advancing the efforts of Colorado’s minority and women-owned businesses. The office has an established network of public, private and government resources that can be leveraged by businesses of all types and sizes. The office can provide assistance in attaining the various city, state, federal and private certifications available for minority and women-owned businesses and help determine which ones will allow the company to participate in the types of government contracts of interest. The MBO also provides information, tools, and events that help private businesses find the right minority and women-owned businesses to fit their needs.
Federal Assistance Programs-Eligible in Weld County
The most flexible and commonly used SBA business financing program; the 7A loan program guarantees a portion (up to 90%) of the loan made and administered by commercial lending institutions, thereby reducing loan risks without tightening credit standards and reducing available credit. Use of funds includes working capital, business acquisitions, machinery/equipment purchase construction, debt refinance, etc. Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and general up to 25 years for fixed assets. An eligible business must be for-profit, have a net worth less than $8.5 million and net profit less than $3 million and the owner/user must occupy 51% of an existing building or 60% if new construction.
Administered by a non-profit Certified Development Company (CDC), this program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings, etc. CDC’s work with the SBA and private-sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses who are creating jobs. Typically, a 504 project includes a loan secured by a senior lien from a private-sector lender covering up to 50% of the project cost, a loan secured with a junior lien from the CDC (backed by a 100% SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering up to 40% of the cost, and a contribution of at least 10% equity from the small business being helped.
In rural areas (50,000 population or less), this federal program will guarantee loans by eligible local lenders up to $10 million. The primary purpose of the program is to create/maintain employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This is achieved by expanding the existing private credit structure capability to make/service quality loans. The program typically guarantees losses of up to 80% of the original loan amount. Typically, loan guarantees are limited to a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $10 million per borrower. The program administrator may approve loans up to $25 million.
Companies located in rural areas (50,000 population or less) who are making verifiable (energy audit or assessment) improvements to a facility, building or process that reduces energy consumption are eligible to apply for a USDA loan guarantee and/or grant assistance. The maximum grant award (nor more than 25% of eligible project costs) is $250,000. The maximum guaranteed loan award (no more than 75% of eligible project costs) is $25 million and the maximum combination grant/guaranteed loan (no more than 75% of total eligible project costs) is $25 million. Assistance is awarded on a competitive basis and additional requirements exist.
Click below for the full document Summary of Key Business Assistance Programs
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Upstate Colorado Economic Development is your comprehensive, confidential source of information regarding Weld County. We have the expertise, resources, and connections you need to thrive in the region. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any for any help you may need.