Denver looks to ‘JumpStart’ already strong economy



  • Denver’s economy is on a roll.
  • Mayor Hancock unveils JumpStart 2015.
  • Plan addresses everything from affordable housing to venture capital investments.


Mayor Hancock unveiled JumpStart 2015

Mayor Hancock unveiled JumpStart 2015

Denver’s economy used to be a roller coaster.

Now it is just on a roll.

The city has added 36,000 new jobs and 2,200 new businesses since 2011, Mayor Michael B. Hancock said on Thursday, signs the Mile High City has put the Great Recession behind it.

Hancock and the Office of Economic Development on Thursday also released JumpStart 2015, which they described as a “bold roadmap… to keep Denver’s vibrant economy firing on all cylinders, growing good jobs and creating opportunity for all Denver residents.”

The predecessor plan, JumpStart 2o14, played a role in Denver creating 3,311 jobs, retaining 4,083 jobs, and accruing $139 million in capital investments by Denver firms, according to the mayor.

“By clearly charting a course for this city’s economy, Denver today has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, is a hub of innovation and is one of the best places to find a job and start a business,” Hancock said.

“Our plans have been proactive and intentional – and because of our focused approach this city of opportunity is open for business,” Hancock continued.

“But we have much more work ahead,” Hancock said. “JumpStart 2015 will work to ensure the economic prosperity we’re seeing today extends to everyone.”

This is one of the images that JumpStart 2015 uses to illustrate how the plan will help everyone.

This is one of the images that JumpStart 2015 uses to illustrate how the plan will help everyone.

To capitalize on that momentum, JumpStart 2015  identifies what is describes as major, proactive steps it will take this year to bolster business development, innovation, entrepreneurship, neighborhood investment and a workforce built for the 21st century.

The plan also includes a two-year action plan outlining immediate objectives and tasks supporting the city’s Housing Denver long-term affordable housing strategy.

“Taking a deliberate, proactive and intentional approach to our development strategy has delivered strong dividends for the city, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents,” said OED executive director Paul Washington.

“We look forward to continued success and working with our many community partners to further shape our great city,” Washington added.

As in previous years, JumpStart 2015 focuses on seven strategic pillars of economic development: business retention, small business advocacy, business recruitment, housing, strategic lending, neighborhood development and workforce development. Each pillar includes several initiatives, goals, and partners with which the OED will collaborate to put the plan into action.

They include:

  • Building access to capital for small businesses through the creation of a new small business loan fund with partners, continued support of Denver’s venture capital investment community and support for a new local Small Business Investment Company program.
  • Developing proposed changes to the city’s housing preservation ordinance to create a stronger tool to preserve affordable housing citywide
  • Driving equitable neighborhood development by issuing and examining a gentrification study that will focus on the impacts of revitalization on low-income areas and residents
  • Elevating Denver’s active lifestyle business sector
  • Sparking growth of Denver’s manufacturing industry, including the creation of a new manufacturing and innovation hub in Denver’s neighborhoods
  • Supporting the launch of a new STEM academy in West Denver
  • Focusing and expanding workforce training resources on key high-growth, middle skill occupations healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and construction
  • Integrating workforce development services through other locations including Headstart, Denver Public Library, Parks & Recreation, Denver Housing Authority and DIA
  • Launching a scalable, pilot program to help export-ready firms access international trade markets

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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