Strategic plan focuses on economy, jobs

Denver's strategic plan for economic development -- JumpStart 2016 -- has established a broad, three-year framework to continue momentum in the city's vibrant economy, creating good jobs and opportunities for all residents to succeed.

The recently released plan outlines pillars of economic development: business development, small-business advocacy, housing, neighborhoods and workforce development. Each pillar includes detailed initiatives, goals and partners with which the city's Office of Economic Development (OED) will collaborate to convert plans to action.

"This is Denver's time. We are seeing record-breaking economic success on so many levels, and the challenge now is to maintain this growth in a manner that will positively impact all our people," says Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "Our JumpStart vision has always been founded on inclusivity, striking a balance between bold goal setting and ensuring that we are directly creating economic mobility for residents in every corner of the city."

Among the specific initiatives in the 2016 plan:
 
  • Build outreach efforts to international companies looking to expand in the United States, while also exploring international opportunities for local firms to tap new markets
  • Support Denver-based startups through a new loan fund, which in turn will provide payment enhancements to the city following a firm's successful growth and/or exit strategy
  • Identify up to 500 firms that contribute to Denver's core economy and assign them an OED business development representative to strengthen lines of communication for future expansion or retention conversations
  • Provide financing to the top ideas addressing food insecurity in the Globeville/Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods
  • Support the creation of at least 600 additional affordable and workforce housing units and pilot new tools for affordable home ownership
  • Establish a retail incubator and storefront on East Colfax for immigrant entrepreneurs to manufacture, market and sell goods

"I am proud that the vision and discipline of producing a JumpStart document each year since 2012 continues to reinforce a culture shift within the city's economic development work, stretching ourselves to accomplish greater milestones and managing to a strict scorecard for accountability which I believe makes us far more effective," says Paul Washington, executive director of OED.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Read more articles by Margaret Jackson.

Margaret is a veteran Denver real estate reporter and can be contacted here.
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