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Colorado Enterprise Fund to participate in CO Impact Days

Colorado Enterprise Fund is among the 100 social ventures seeking “impact investments” that was chosen to meet with investors at CO Impact Days Social Venture Showcase Nov. 17.

The 100 ventures will convene at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the second year of the “shark-tank for good” statewide marketplace for impact investing. The selected social ventures will showcase their investment opportunities to offer not only a financial return on the impact investor’s investment but also to offer solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.”

“We are so thrilled to again invite more than 200 investors and philanthropists to interact with these valuable social ventures,” says Dr. Stephanie Gripne, founder of the Impact Finance Center and creator of the CO Impact Days. “When these two groups of powerful movers and shakers share a room, there is no telling the good that will come. We’ve aimed to offer a diverse array of impact investments, with a goal that every investor will leave knowing that deal flow is not a Colorado impact investing problem.”

The goal of CO Impact Days is to catalyze $100 million in impact investments into Colorado social ventures in the next three years, and it is kicking off with CO Impact Days Nov. 15-17. The initiative is possible because Colorado is home to a number of national leaders in impact investing and a thriving and collaborative community of social venture entrepreneurs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, as well as philanthropists and investors who are committed to growing Colorado’s economy and creating good jobs.

“Funding from these impact investors will enable us to serve more Colorado businesses, which in turn will ultimately advance economic opportunity and prosperity in our Colorado communities,” says Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund.
 

Broker's buyer bonus: Helping to send a child to school in Uganda

Denver real estate broker Tenzin Gyaltsen is helping put Ugandan children through school one home sale at a time through a partnership with the S.O.U.L Foundation.

One child will be put through school for every home sale that’s over $300,000. It costs about $1,600 to put a child through all seven years of primary school.

“That gives them all of their school books and one meal per day,” said Gyaltsen, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado. “It’s an added bonus to the house. It almost personifies it in a way.”

Gyaltsen, who formerly owned an eco-friendly clothing company, met representatives from S.O.U.L (Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn) at an event and fell in love with the organization. He had a desire to do something philanthropic, so he sponsored Rita Naigaga, the first of many students.

When he turned his attention to real estate he decided to expand his efforts by sponsoring a child with proceeds from every house he lists for more than $300,000.

Gyaltsen works with investors to buy houses, fix them up and resell them. When he has an upcoming listing he contacts S.O.U.L to pledge to sponsor a student, The organization then sends a child’s photo and bio, which will be framed and displayed in the house. If the new owners wish, the address of the newly sold home stays with the sponsorship, and all the letters and updates from the student are mailed to the house.

“Lack of education is one of the biggest problems in the world,” Gyaltsen said. “In this part of the world, most children don’t get an education. It’s important to equip children with knowledge so they can go out and better the world and their communities.”

Business loan program for veterans created

The Colorado Enterprise Fund has created a program for Colorado veterans and Gold Star family members who are interested in starting or growing a small business in the state.

Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource (VALOR) will provide discounted loan rates and extended terms for military veterans who are unable to secure financing through traditional banks.

Any honorable discharged U.S. military veteran or Gold Star family member who is a Colorado resident is eligible to apply for a VALOR loan of up to $500,000. Recipients will receive a 2 percent discount from standard Colorado Enterprise Fund rates and an origination fee of 1.5 percent. The loan term would be for up to 10 years with an interest-only period of up to six months.

The loans can be used for working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchases and commercial real estate.

For more information, contact Senior Loan Office Mike Jensen, a U.S. Army veteran, at (720) 473-4068 or at mike@coloradoenterprisefund.org.

Founded in 1976, the Colorado Enterprise Fund is a non-profit lending institution that specializes in loans for small businesses and startups statewide that are unable to secure traditional bank financing. To date, the organization has has made more than 2,000 loans totaling $63 million to small businesses.

The real numbers: Center city neighborhoods add housing, but is it affordable?

Denver is on track to meet a goal set in 2007 to add 18,000 housing units in the city center by 2027.

The center city has seen an increase of 10,000 residential units since 2010, and another nearly 9,000 are under construction, according to the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Center City Housing report.

Even so, the units added have not been enough to keep housing costs affordable for some residents and workers.

“The Downtown Denver Partnership has advanced a variety of solutions to stem the impact of rising housing costs, ad we are focused on addressing the need for diversity in housing type and affordability to meet the needs for downtown’s workforce,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the partnership. “While our residential and employee populations are growing at unprecedented rates, we must ensure companies can continue to attract and retain the employees they need to be successful, and affordable housing is a key part of the equation.”

The partnership has led several strategic housing initiatives, including advocating for construction defects reform, working with developers to add a variety of unit types and endorsing the creation of the first affordable housing fund in the City and County of Denver. The partnership also played a key role in moving the LIVE Denver program forward.

Other insights from the report include:
  • Denver’s center city neighborhoods are home to 79,367 residents and 130,227 employees
  • Since 2010, the center city has added 15,877 new residents and 33,065 new jobs
  • Denver is the fourth fastest growing city in the United States, and the demand to live in the center city is high, with the residential population tripling since 2000
  • Capitol Hill is the most populous center city neighborhood with a population of 17,142 residents
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood adjacent to Denver Union Station experienced the highest percentage of population growth since 2010
  • The Central Platte Valley neighborhood also added the most new units since 2010, totaling 5,669 units completed or under construction, more than 3,800 more units than the next busiest neighborhood for development, River North.

The Record Company to headline holiday concert benefitting public schools

The Grammy Award-nominated Los Angeles band The Record Company is headlining the fourth annual Sing It To Me Santa concert Dec. 9 at the Ogden Theatre.

The concert will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools through the newly formed nonprofit organization Take Note Colorado.

“I am honored and proud to announce that Sing It To Me Santa will become a signature event under Take Note Colorado,” says Karen Radman, executive director of Take Note Colorado. “And, that net proceeds from Sing It To Me Santa 2017 will benefit music education in Denver Public Schools.”

The Record Company is a Los Angeles-based rock trio whose 2016 debut album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Tickets for the show are available at www.axs.com. General admission tickets are $25-30, and VIP tickets are $250. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. For information on sponsorships for the show, contact Karen Radman at karen@takenotecolorado.org.

Denver-based vintage rock/funk/blues powerhouse Tracksuit Wedding will open the show, performing original new tracs from its just-released second album “Now or Never” — and some holiday favorites to celebrate the season. 

Take Note Colorado, chaired by Gov. John Hickenlooper and Isaac Slade of The Fray, is a new statewide initiative with a goal to provide access to musical instruments and instruction to all of Colorado’s K-12 students. Sing It To Me Santa is a benefit concert created in 2014 by Libby Anschutz.

City and County Building gets new composition for chimes

A new composition has been installed in the 10-bell chime of the Denver City and County Building. 

“Ascent,” by artist Kevin Padworski, will be played on significant and special days for the City of Denver.

“The goal of the composition was to capture the essence of the people the music aimed to represent — the people of Denver,” Padworski says. “With a quickly growing population, full of diversity and a multitude of backgrounds, I sought to create the music that would evoke this catalytic energy. The task of composing for bells combined with a limitted set of pitches was a unique and exciting challenge and privilege.”

Padworski visited the building multiple times to play and hear the bell tower. He planted himself “on location” downtown so he was surrounded by people he could draw the music from. The composition features ascending musical lines that represent the city — its growth, the people, the topography of the state and hope in its future.

“Bells have such an iconic and timeless sound, and it is my hope that this new music can be heard in a new way to serve and inspire the people of this city,” Padworski said. 

Study will evaluate minority- and women-owned business program

The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is launching a disparity study to guide future implementation of minority- and women-owned business programs in Denver. 

The study will measure whether minority- and women-owned contractors are being underutilized in city business, thereby providing a basis for the continuation of Denver’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program and related federal programs.

OED has retained BBC Research & Consulting to conduct the study to help evaluate the effectiveness of the local MWBE program and two federal programs: The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. The study will examine the city’s procurement services and products, the subcontracting participation of contractors/service providers who do business with the city and anecdotal evidence collected from a cross-section of the local business community.

“With significant public investment projects on the horizon, and by staying true to our Denver values, this city will show how economic prosperity can bring everyone along,” says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “We’re looking forward to taking a thorough, objective look at our inclusivity programs in order to bolster our approach and further level the playing field for Denver’s minority contracting community.”

To help inform the study, a series of public hearings will be held this fall: 
 
  • Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Eisenhower Recreation Center, 4300 E. Dartmouth Ave.
  • Oct. 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St.
  • Oct. 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Denver Police Station-District One, 1311 W. 46th Ave.
  • Oct. 13, 9-11 a.m., Denver International Airport (tentative)

Comments and information can also be submitted to denverdisparitystudy@bbcresearch.com. For more information visit denvergove.org/dsbo.
 

Floyd's shows off its hipness in new video

Floyd’s 99 Barbershop is launching a new marketing campaign that blends music and style together in a video that brings life to the unique atmosphere inside the shops.

“The 99 Experience” video, featured on YouTube, showcases the diverse styles and personalities of the staff, the Floyd’s signature rock ’n’ roll poster wall plastered with music memorabilia and the custom radio station specially curated for the shop. 

“The minute you walk into one of our shops, you understand exactly what Floyd’s 99 is all about,” says co-owner Rob O’Brien. “It’s more than a haircut; it’s an experience. It’s difficult to articulate such a unique experience, so we wanted to create something to show it.”

The video features an exclusively created party version of the new single “Ghost Got Loose” from up-and-coming fold-rock artist Rocko Wheeler. Floyd’s 99 will be running a social media promotion through Facebook and Instagram encouraging people to engage with the video and share the Floyd’s 99 experience by tagging a friend in the post for a chance for both of you to win free haircuts for a year. 

“We are a the original rock ’n’ roll barbershop and music is in our blood,” O’Brien says. “It was a natural fit to bring our love of music and dedication to providing amazing service together into a brand video to demonstrate what we are all about for someone who many not have had a chance yet to visit one of our shops.”
 

Four artists selected for SkyHouse installations

The Denver Art Museum and SkyHouse Denver are teaming up to transform a downtown corner into an urban art gallery featuring the work of four local artists over the course of a year. 

After completing a request for proposals process, the DAM, in consultation with RedLine, selected four Denver-based artists — Sandra Fettingis, Collin Parson, Jodi Stuart and Suchitra Mattai — to create installations that will be on view in the street-level window boxes along 18th Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard at SkyHouse Denver, a high-rise apartment building at 1776 Broadway. Fettingis and Parson’s installations were mounted in June and will be on view through October. Stuart and Mattai will take over the space in December and occupy it for six months.

“This collaboration activates our building in a unique and engaging way, while giving the museum and Denver-based artists and opportunity to reach more people,” says Sharon O’Connell, senior regional vice president of Simpson Housing, which developed and manages SkyHouse. “One of the reasons we chose this site in particular was the proximity to many of downtown Denver’s key attractions, including the Denver Art Museum. Our residents want to live, work and play in unique urban environments. This partnership is a perfect fit.”

SkyHouse Denver opened in September last year. the 26-story, 354-unit mixed-use building offers studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as street-level retail space that currently includes Superfruit Republic and MECHA Fitness.

Downtown has seen $5.3 billion investment in five years

Since January 2012, $5.3 billion of total investment in development has been completed or is under construction in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 Downtown Denver Development Map recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

That’s a total of 87 projects, 3.5 million square feet of office space; 9,126 residential units and 2,819 hotel rooms.

“The private sector is responding to increased demand for residential housing, office space and hotel rooms propelled by strong population and job growth, as well as key public sector investments,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “This investment supports our vision of an economically powerful center city by creating opportunities for companies to move to downtown Denver and space for our existing companies to grow, as well as helping to meet the increasing demand to live and visit here.”

Intended for developers, investors and brokers interested in downtown Denver, the Downtown Denver Development Map highlights key investments within the boundaries of downtown Denver. The annual map tells the story behind downtown Denver development and encourages continued investment by highlighting projects completed in the past five years, in addition to projects under construction.

Commons on Champa launches Women on the Rise

The Commons on Champa has kicked off new programming aimed at supporting the success of women entrepreneurs. 

Though the first Women on the Rise event has passed, the program will continue every third Wednesday through October. The breakfast event, sponsored by Noble Energy, is free and open to the public. The talk starts at 8 a.m. and requires a reservation.

“Denver has the fifth-highest percentage of women-owned businesses in the U.S., but we know that women and minorities often face significant barriers, including lack of access to capital, networks and the resources necessary to lead and grow a business,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership and co-founder of The Commons. “It’s more important than ever to connect women entrepreneurs to the right resources so that we begin to see higher rates of success in building and growing successful women-owned businesses right here in our center city.”

Women on the Rise is a collaboration between The Commons and Traci Lounsbury, president and co-founder of Elements, a $66 million workplace furnishings and integrated interiors solutions company in Denver.

“Despite starting businesses at a rate five times faster than our male counterparts, less than 2 percent of women-owned firms reach the million-dollar revenue threshold,” Lounsbury says. “When I heard that statistic, as a member of that 2 percent, I felt a strong responsibility to provide whatever support I could to help other women entrepreneurs break through to the next level.”
 

DAC starts $3 million improvement project

The Denver Athletic Club has started a $3 million renovation that will upgrade its fitness center, entry atrium, squash courts, locker rooms, and other spaces in an effort to boost its membership.

The work includes new flooring, lighting, paint, furniture, fixtures, and fitness equipment for the club, which was founded in 1884 and is one of the longest-standing private clubs in the nation.

Denver-based architecture firm Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative is spearheading the project for the member-owned club.

“We are highly confident in the ability of OLC to deliver a club that is not only beautiful, but also more functional and enjoyable to members,” says Jeff Dykes, president of The Denver Athletic Club. “The continued support and enjoyment of our members is our first priority, and we remain dedicated to merging rich tradition with best-in-class facilities.”

The Denver Athletic Club building was constructed in 1890. It is home to the first bowling alley west of the Mississippi River and its squash program is legendary. With 300,000 square feet of fitness facilities; full-service dining and banquet services; and organized social, business and athletic events, the club is accessible to members 24 hours a day. 

“We’re excited to kick off the renovation and to continue our club’s legacy of excellence,” says General Manager Mike Hestera. “Above all, The Denver Athletic Club is home to a vibrant community where members find a sense of belonging, both personally and professionally, and we’re certain the updates will only enhance their experience.”

Economic development in Denver strong in 2016

2016 was a good year for economic development in Denver.

There were 579 affordable housing units created throughout Denver, and two mixed-income condominium developments at separate transit-oriented development sites, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development’s (OED) annual report on job creation and capital investment.

OED also supported catalytic development in Arapahoe Square, which has been a priority for the city, by providing gap financing for the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network’s new headquarters and innovation center. 

The city’s various incentive, tax credit, loan and training assistance programs helped 85 companies expand in Denver, collectively creating 2,968 new jobs and making more than $111 million in capital investments.

“During this dynamic period of growth for Denver, we have maintained a laser focus on propelling the powerful momentum of our economy forward, supporting diverse commercial sectors, good jobs, strong neighborhoods and a fertile climate for entrepreneurship,” says Mayor Michael Hancock. 

Other highlights of the annual report include: 
 
  • Completion of a comprehensive economic analysis to support the creation of an agribusiness innovation area surrounding the National Western Center redevelopment.
  • Support of 36 separate neighborhood development projects designed to enhance neighborhood vitality.
  • Increased access to contracting opportunities by growing the city’s business certification programs, with a total of 1,278 small and minority/women-owned firms earning more than $105 million from the city’s construction, professional services and purchasing opportunities.
  • Serving more than 30,000 people with job search assistance through Denver Workforce Services.

How to get a deal at Denver's best coffee shops

If you’re a coffee junkie, the Fika Coffee Passport is your ticket to learning all about Denver’s vibrant coffee scene.

The $20 passport features 28 craft shops and roasters featuring two-for-one coffee specials per venue between April 1 and July 31. Some of the participating venues include Allegro Coffee Roasters, The Denver Bicycle Cafe, Huckleberry Roasters, Pablo’s Coffee and Pigtrain Coffee.

Why is it called Fika? Because a fika is a custom in Swedish culture that celebrates a break from work for a bit of play. The Passport Program folks liked the idea of getting out of the office to meet a friend for a chat over a cup of coffee.

The locations in the booklet were selected for both atmosphere and quality coffee and each offers a one-of-a-kind experience. You can share your coffee with a friend or enjoy both yourself. Each location has crafted a speciality beverage that best represents their shop or practices. You can also substitute any craft coffee drink for a drip coffee.

For every book sold, $1 will be donated to Colorado Public Radio.

City of Cranes: A whopping 42 projects either planned or under construction downtown

Forty-two projects with an investment value of $2.8 billion are either under construction or planned in downtown Denver, according to the 2017 State of Downtown Denver Report recently released by the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

The projects will add more than 1,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 residences and 2.5 million square feet of office space. 

“Great cities do not happen by accident,” says Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “Our thriving center city is a result of a strategic vision to build one of the most economically powerful center cities in the country, and the metrics outlined in the 2017 State of Downtown Denver signal great success. Our residential population is expanding at unprecedented rates, $2.8 billion is being invested through development projects, we’ve added 6,000 jobs and 23 new companies have relocated to or opened a new office in the center city to grow their business in the last 24 months.”

Downtown Denver’s workforce of 130,227 people has grown at a rate of 17 percent since 2010, outpacing the national rate of 11 percent. Employment is led by new and growing private-sector businesses, where employment is up 21 percent.

Nearly 80,000 people are choosing to live in downtown Denver and its center city neighborhoods. Population in the downtown core has tripled since 2000, and more than 66 percent of downtown residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.Downtown’s residential renaissance and its growing employee base is encouraging new retail development. Retail sales tax collection is anchored by restaurants, which make up 44 percent of the revenue. 

There is a diverse array of educational opportunities, from traditional universities to coding schools that is helping to build the workforce of the future and ensure downtown businesses have access to top talent. About 58,000 students are being educated in the center city at a variety of educational institutions.
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