COBRT - Your Pro-Business Advocate - Weekly News - November 5, 2019
Health care is hotly debated in Washington, and I'd be willing to bet most people think it's too expensive. This is certainly true for Colorado employers - and especially entrepreneur-led companies, which employ nearly half the state's workforce. Companies throughout the state strive daily to afford quality health insurance for their 1.1 million employees. But, the return of the Health Insurance Tax could provide a bit hit to Colorado companies - and their workers' paychecks and benefits. The Health Insurance Tax - also known as the HIT tax - was an ill-considered part of the Affordable Care Act. It applies to every small business health plan. In 2020, the HIT tax will cost about $500 per insured employee. That means a small business with just 10 workers will owe an extra $5,000 if the HIT tax is in effect. 

Join Colorado Business Roundtable as we welcome the Speaker of the House and Senate President on November 12th from 5 pm to 7 pm. This event is an informal networking event where business leaders can network with their elected officials. 
As net sales revenues decreased 3.2% in the company's third quarter, Denver-based Molson Coors is rolling out a major revitalization plan, which includes consolidating offices into one North American branch, reducing up to 500 employees and moving all functional support roles to Milwaukee. "Our business is at an inflection point. We can continue down the path we've been on for several years now, or we can make significant and difficult changes necessary to get back on the right track," new CEO and president Gavin Hattersley said in a press release. "Our revitalization plan is designed to streamline the company, move faster and free up resources to invest in our brands and capabilities."

Read any report on the future of work and you will likely hear about the looming automation of large swaths of jobs and growing gaps of AI and computer programming skills. While these issues deserve attention, they mask an important but far more subtle shift in the world of work. Entirely new fields and functions are being created at a breakneck pace, and nearly every job is changing. And even incremental changes are - in aggregate - having profound effects. 
Gov. Jared Polis is asking for a $550 million bump in transportation funding and is not seeking an increase in film-incentive funding in the first budget proposal he developed by himself but is saving much of his political capital to fight for two proposals of his the Legislature rejected last year - an increase in the reserves fund and creation of a paid family and medical leave program specifically for state employees. 

Developmental Pathways is pleased to announce that Matt VanAuken has been selected as CEO & Executive Director for Developmental Pathways, Continuum of Colorado, and Nonprofit Management Services of Colorado.
Matt formerly held the title as Chief Operations Officer, and when CEO Melanie Worley announced her retirement in July of 2019, Matt stepped in as Interim CEO.
Matt joined Developmental Pathways family of companies in 2011; his leadership and intuition was critical during a time of vast transformation for the organizations. Since that time, Matt has continued to lead with enthusiasm and deep investment in the mission to enrich the lives of people with developmental disabilities/delays. Some of his most notable accomplishments include implementing formal strategic planning, improving financial literacy across leadership groups, furthering greater organizational transparency, and developing internal professional development paths. Matt's internal initiatives deepened employee engagement and retention and introduced Developmental Pathways as an employer of choice in Metro-Denver. His innovation and willingness to take risks have greatly benefited the organization, its employees, and the people/families the organization supports.

Denver is No. 1 among 50 cities where women should start a business, according to the latest research from and 29% of metro businesses are female-owned. To determine the rankings, looked at the percentage of female-only owned businesses, the unemployment rate for women, the pay differences between women and men, and the number of new businesses per capita from sources including U.S. Census Bureau, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs and the American Community Survey. 

When Coloradans cast their votes on or before Tuesday's election, the specific mayoral and council candidates they select and initiatives will vary between cities and towns and countries. But in almost every major city that rings the Denver area, the divisions between candidates and issues can be explained by one question: Do you like your's city rate of growth, or should you do something to slow or change that trajectory? 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is pushing to move ahead immediately with a minimum-wage hike for all Denver employers, despite legal threats and warnings from restaurant operators that such a move could lead to increased layoffs and automation. Hancock announced Monday that, after more than a month of stakeholder meetings and input, he will ask the Denver City Council to raise the municipality's floor wage for private-sector companies from its current rate of $11.10 per hour to a new threshold of $15.87 - though he will do it over a three-year span rather than the two-year span that he originally proposed. Under the proposal that Hancock and Councilwoman Robin Kniech will take to the council's finance and governance committee on Tuesday, employers would be required to pay a wage no lower than $12.85 a hour on Jan. 1, $14.77 to begin 2021 and $15.87 to start 2022. 
The Innovation & Opportunity Conference: Advancing Aerospace & Defense (IOC), now in its second year, brings together NASA and other government agency experts, small businesses, startups, research institutions and large businesses/prime contractors for a technology and commercialization event. The IOC provides opportunities for companies at every stage of maturity, from those just starting out with a great idea, to experienced innovators looking to expand and actively participate in tomorrow's aerospace and defense.

The conference is November 14-15 at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center. 

Business Roundtable on Tuesday urged Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and reject amendments that undermine its effectiveness. "Supporting more than 1.7 million American jobs over the past decade, the Ex-Im Bank has been critical to expanding export opportunities for American products and services," Business Roundtable said in a statement. "Long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank will help U.S. businesses of all sizes expand into foreign markets, providing more opportunity to U.S. workers and supporting the communities they live in."

The Denver US Export Assistance Center, the World Trade Center Denver, the Global Chamber, and Fairfield and Woods Law Firm are pleased to invite you to attend a roundtable on export opportunities in Australia.  The event is Tuesday, November 12 from 8:30 am to 10:00 am at Fairfield and Woods, PC. 

 In 2018, U.S. exports of goods and services to Australia were USD $47.5 billion, an increase of 1.7 percent from 2017, and imports from Australia were USD $18.4 billion, up 2.6 percent from 2017.  As a result, the trade surplus with Australia increased to USD $29.2 billion.  This is one of the largest trade surpluses the United States has with any country.  Australia is a mature market with a relatively high percentage of middle-class demographic.  U.S. products are well received in the market and are generally viewed as well made and of superior quality.  
 Australia is a highly regulated market following more European standards than the U.S.  The legal system is transparent and IP protection is strong.  

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