FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2022
Prowers Economic Prosperity, 223 S. Main, Lamar, CO 81052
Prowers Economic Prosperity awarded Opportunity Zone Video Spotlight Grant though the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
The grant was awarded to support the production of a video that features the community character and investment opportunities in Prowers County. This application was selected due to its potential for impact, alignment with local and state economic development goals, and broad community support.
Cheryl Sanchez, Executive Director, is pleased to announce the Opportunity Zone Spotlight Video is complete. The video captures the spirit of Prowers County culture and promotes the fact we are open for business in the middle of everywhere. The video is a great tool for economic development to educate and attract new businesses to Prowers County.
”Prowers County, with its close-knit community, gorgeous vistas, and clever economic development strategy, was the perfect place to feature first in this three-video series.
We couldn’t be happier with how the video turned out, and look forward to sharing it alongside our partners in Prowers County.” - Jack Tiebout, Senior Program Manager, OEDIT
Go to https://youtu.be/4gma5uJXN2w or https://www.prowerspep.org to view video.
Morgan VanKat, a representative from OEDIT, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, outlined a state program developed to provide tax relief and grants for new business start-ups and business relocations, specifically in rural areas of the state.
“We’re targeting those communities and counties that are experiencing economic distress,” she explained to the Prowers Economic Prosperity board during its November 21st monthly meeting. There are various criteria as to what constitutes economic distress and OEDIT is the governing body that makes that determination.
VanKat explained that the tax relief does not include property taxes, but a business that fits the criteria can apply for relief in several ways. In a designated rural jump-start zone, benefits include relief from:
state income taxes for the new business
state sales and use tax for the business
100% of county personal property taxes for the business municipal personal property taxes for the business (in participating municipalities)
100% of state income taxes for the employee
Local governments also sometimes provide additional tax relief from other county or municipal taxes.
Approved companies and their employees have four years of tax relief, with the possibility of extending it another four years. Your business may use rural jump-start tax credits only for each year you receive them. These tax credits do not carry forward to future years.
“The program will expire by the end of June in 2024 and we’d like to see local businesses who can qualify apply while the door is still open,” she said, noting that sponsorships from educational sources such as Lamar Community College or PEP is required. Companies must meet requirements for new hires and with some flexibility, must export their products out of the grant zone.
In other action, the PEP board set their 2023 meeting dates as well as the Brewing for Business meeting schedule for the first Thursday of the month at 7am at Brew Unto Others, South Main Street in Lamar. The public meetings provide timely business information for interested owners, managers or local residents.
Taking a long view, board member Lawrence Brase suggested PEP begin to monitor construction developments for the long-awaited Arkansas Valley Conduit program, connecting potable water to communities between Pueblo and Lamar. First proposed in 1962, the multi-million dollar venture has received significant funding over the past two years and could become a reality in seven years. “It will have an impact on our area’s water supply and we should become acquainted with its development for future business interests,” he suggested.
As a follow up to PEP’s social VIP meeting last month, Executive Director, Cheryl Sanchez, will stay in touch with interested parties and contact will be made to absentee board members or their delegates to have representation to the monthly meetings.
By Russ Baldwin
Two recent ribbon-cutting events in Prowers County on August 26th noted business growth with the expansion of the Rocky Ford Pipe Yard into the county from its Rocky Ford headquarters where it has been in operation for fifty years. Mark Carrigan said the pipe yard is an irrigation pipe and sprinkler system parts supplier and is expanding the operation to this area with his partner, Brad Johnson. An estimated 20 employees will be hired once the business, along Highway 50 east near Granada is up and running. No specific date has been set for the opening at this time, according to Prowers Economic Prosperity, Executive Director, Cheryl Sanchez.
Taylor Implement Company, a family-owned concern for half a century, has interests in Colorado and is expanding into Prowers County. The agricultural equipment dealer is headquartered in Hoxie, Kansas and has interests in Yuma and Greeley, Colorado.
The dealership features CLAAS equipment including combines, tractors, balers, forage harvesters and hay tools. Other product lines include JCB, Vermeer, Meyer and KIOTI. They are a full-service operation and expect to hire between five and seven employees once they’re in operation, perhaps by the end of 2023.
By Russ Baldwin