Denver, CO – Today, Governor Jared Polis signed into law a bipartisan bill to expand on the successful Rural Jump-Start program that helps boost economic development in rural Colorado. The bipartisan bill is sponsored by Representatives Dylan Roberts and Janice Rich as well as Senators Kerry Donovan and Ray Scott. 

“I am thrilled to see this bill signed into law today because our economy needs help so that Coloradans can get back to work,” said Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon. “From Routt County to Mesa County, the Rural Jump-Start Program has been the reason why dozens of businesses were able to open their doors and hire employees in rural Colorado. This law expands this program to more parts of the state and will allow even more small businesses to open and hire employees. As we move to safely reopen, we are glad to have this tool in place to help with the long term economic health of rural Colorado.” 

“I am incredibly proud to have sponsored this bill and to watch it become law today,” said Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail. “For the last 5 years the Rural Jump-Start Program has been helping new businesses open in rural Colorado and boost their local economies in the process. Now with the serious economic pains we are experiencing from COVID-19, it is crucial that we expand this program’s success to other small rural communities across the state. Recovery won’t happen overnight, but with the ingenuity of small business start-ups, I am hopeful that Colorado will have the tools in place to begin an economic recovery.” 

The Rural Jump-Start program encourages businesses to create and maintain jobs in economically distressed rural areas by providing tax incentives both to the businesses themselves and to their employees. HB20-1003 includes key modifications to the Rural Jump-Start program to ensure more rural communities, businesses and their employees can benefit in economically distressed areas of rural Colorado. Importantly, it also extends the program for five years and allows economic development organizations to form Rural Jump-Start Zone programs to authorize new businesses to participate.

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