As a way of encouraging economic growth in Colorado's rural areas, the governor announced today (January 14) Mesa County has been selected as the state's first 'Rural Jump-Start Zone.'

This initiative adds incentives for new businesses and existing business expansion by creating tax-free zones in rural areas across the state.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced Mesa County as the first zone in his State of the State address,

We're launching our Rural Jump-Start program this month in Mesa County. “Three companies — Colorado Clean, TSW Analytics and ProStar Geocorp — have already [started the application process]; we look forward to working with them, and with Colorado Mesa University President, Tim Foster, who is with us today to enhance the competitiveness of Colorado's rural communities.”

According to the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, the Jump-Start program is designed to grow jobs in advanced manufacturing, aviation, food processing, biotech and other technologies.

The program brings counties, municipalities, higher education institutions and businesses together to work towards growth in those industries.

Businesses involved in the Rural Jump-Start Zone Program will receive relief from a number of state taxes for up to eight years, as long as they meet the requirements for the program. Mesa County jurisdictions have added additional incentives for area businesses qualifying for the program.

The office of Economic Development and International Trade will begin accepting applications for the program starting January 19. The Grand Junction Economic Partnership can provide information and assistance to businesses interested in the program.

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