Businesses can locate anywhere they want. That’s the bottom line. So how do we create an environment where businesses want to stay and expand?
First, it’s about place. The City of Fort Collins is fortunate to have a stellar university in town, miles and miles of trails, excellent health care, and proximity to the Rocky Mountains and Denver International Airport. The community draws diverse industries and companies without significant economic incentives. Some are multi-million dollar international companies; some are sole proprietor local-only businesses. And everything in between.
Sometimes, the companies moving or expanding need a little help to get to that next level. Occasionally, the City is able to help qualifying projects stay in Fort Collins or even expand. How does the City decide which companies to help and with what tools? Read on.
How We Decide:
Decisions on financial assistance packages are not taken lightly. To be equitable to all parties, a formal request for assistance must be submitted by the company to the Economic Health Office and include the following information:
Tools We Use
The City of Fort Collins uses a variety of local incentives to assist primary employers with relocation and expansion efforts. The City works collaboratively with each primary employer and builds a package that is specific to the individual needs. Here are highlights of some of the tools and a brief description:
Why Should We Get Involved
Over the past seven years, the City’s practice of assisting companies has paid off. Our industry clusters have expanded, supply chain management in some industries has become more streamlined and our area is known nationally and internationally as a clean energy, water innovation, chip design and brewery centric location.
Having diverse industries helps our community weather the economic storms. It makes us more resilient. Studies have shown that the Great Recession hit Fort Collins later than most cities and we rebounded more quickly due to the success of these different industries.
When companies apply for assistance we take into account their contribution to this diversity and how the community would be impacted if they left or downsized. The decisions are evaluated for long-term impacts, not next month or even next year.
Many of the business assistance packages are performance based. Companies are required to make a certain level of investment, maintain a high-quality facility and hire new jobs. These elements produce ripple effects in the community and keep a mix of jobs that might otherwise be lost to another region or state.
Who Has Benefited
Many times, it is not just the company requesting assistance that benefits, but the community as a whole. An example of this was seen in the recent business assistance package approved by City Council.
Avago Investment: $165M
Maximum assistance from City, County and State: $5.9M
Projected Property Tax Collections 2013–2023
Leveraging the upfront investments by the company and agencies creates long term funding that would not otherwise be collected, and shared by the whole community.
The City Council will discuss this process at the January 22 Work Session. Feel free to contact the City’s Economic Health Director with questions, comments, suggestions or ideas: Josh Birks, (970) 221–6324, amJpcmtzQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==.