City Funds Targeted Industry Clusters
The City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office recently selected the first round of the 2016 Cluster Funding Allocation as part of its mission to partner with targeted local industry clusters and regional sectors that advance the economic vitality of our community.
This year’s recipients:
- Northern Colorado Food Cluster was awarded $30,000 to assist in finalizing the organizational action plan, pursue high impact community projects and federal grants, build regional networks and facilitate supply chain enhancement discussions.
- SpokesBUZZ was awarded $30,000 for program development with CSU, Colorado Creatives industries, Bohemian Foundation and the Lincoln Center; for artist talent development; and for industry-wide arts and music promotion, education and marketing.
- Northern Colorado Bioscience Cluster was awarded $30,000 to strengthen and grow the mentorship network, build out the talent pipeline and support emerging Northern Colorado bioscience companies through partnerships with Innosphere, CSU Research Innovation Center, UC Health and additional regional stakeholders.
- Idea2Product (3-D Printing Lab) was awarded $20,000 to support small business manufacturing, training and educational opportunities, as well as enable small-scale fabrication to expand innovation opportunities in Fort Collins.
- Rockies Venture Club was awarded $15,000 to help facilitate the creation of an angel investing network in Fort Collins and offer education programming and mentorship opportunities at Galvanize Fort Collins.
- Bas Bleu was awarded $9,000 to target underserved populations and children by creating industry partnerships around maker spaces.
- BizGirls was awarded $2,000 to expand the boot-camp-style leadership training program geared toward high school females in Fort Collins and provide scholarship funding for young women from underserved populations for the June program.
The City of Fort Collins opened its newest recreation center – the Foothills Activity Center – on Monday, March 28 as part of the public investment made in the redeveloped Foothills mall.
The $5.8 million center, which is just inside the mall across from the new parking garage, replaces the Youth Activity Center formerly located on Monroe Avenue. Child development, youth and adult sports, fitness and dance programs will be offered in the facility.
The Foothills Activity Center is part of the $53 million in public improvements funded by the Fort Collins Urban Renewal Authority for the $313 million mall redevelopment. The public funding supports new sidewalks, improved pedestrian and bicycle access, improved safety and a new underpass under College Avenue that will connect the mall to MAX Bus Rapid Transit.
Urban Renewal Authority Update
Redevelopment staff have begun to communicate with eligible taxing entities about the City’s plans to expand the Urban Renewal Authority Board of Directors. The Board will be expanded to include a representative of the school districts, Larimer County and special districts. An additional representative will be invited from the pool of remaining taxing entities. The City held an informational session for those taxing entities in February. For more information, contact Patrick Rowe, the City's Redevelopment Coordinator, at 970.416.2231.
Fort Collins received an A in Small Business Friendliness this year in the 2015 Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey. We've also been ranked in the Top 10 for tech jobs (Fast Company) and the Top 20 Best Places for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) jobs (NerdWallet). See other accolades about Fort Collins.
City Council on June 2 adopted an upated Economic Health Strategic Plan, which emphasizes more connections to the Social Sustainability and Environmental Services departments and addresses five key themes:
- Community Prosperity: Employment opportunities exist across income and education/skill spectrums
- Grown Our Own: The economic ecosystem fosters the development of new and creative industry
- Place Matters: A balanced built and natural environment
- The Climate Economy: Businesses adapt to climate change by staying in our community and leverage community carbon reduction goals to develop new products and services
- Think Regionally: A region that partners to address economic issues that extend beyond municipal boundaries