Denver's JumpStart 2016 sets ambitious goals
Annual “blueprint” also includes a three-year, strategic vision
Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) released on Feb 22 JumpStart 2016, the city’s strategic plan for economic development. Now in its fifth annual edition, JumpStart sets bold goals for continued momentum in the city’s vibrant economy, growing good jobs and creating opportunity for all Denver residents to succeed.
“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,” said Mayor 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.”
As in previous years, JumpStart 2016 outlines strategic 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 OED will collaborate to convert plans to action.
Included in this year’s report is a broad, three-year framework for economic development strategies for the 2016-2018 window.
“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,” said Paul Washington, OED Executive Director.
Among the specific initiatives in the 2016 plan:
Build outreach efforts to international companies looking to expand in the U.S., while also exploring international opportunities for local firms to tap new markets
In conjunction with institutional early-stage venture funds, 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
Build upon the success of the JumpStart BizPlan Awards by organizing JumpStart Academy, a consortium of startup entrepreneurs who can formally share strategic planning, finance, marketing, and mentoring practices with their peers and future applicants
Support the creation of at least 600 additional affordable and workforce housing units, and also pilot new financing tools for affordable homeownership
Establish a retail incubator and storefront on E. Colfax for immigrant-entrepreneurs to manufacture, market and sell goods to their Denver community
JumpStart 2016 is available online here.