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  • PCC collaboration with Region 9, local governments earns Rural Jump-Start zone status for four counties

    Magnifying glass enlarging the words tax break

    PUEBLO – Thanks to the collaborative efforts of regional economic, civic and educational institutions, four southwest Colorado counties have been approved as Rural Jump-Start zones.

    Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma and San Juan counties received approval from the Colorado Economic Development Commission on Sept. 21. In order to become a jump-start zone, a county must have fewer than 250,000 residents and be designated by the EDC as economically distressed and must pass a resolution to offer tax relief for businesses that relocate to the area.

    “This is really an opportunity for rural communities to compete,” said Laura Lewis Marchino, executive director of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado. “Many rural communities don’t have the resources to recruit new companies so this is a way to help them bring in higher-paying jobs.”

    Region 9 encouraged the counties to apply and in worked with local governments to pass their tax-relief resolutions. The organization will serve as the primary contact for companies interested in locating in one of the zones.

    Pueblo Community College is the designated institution of higher education for all four counties, through its branch campus in Mancos. As such, the college – through its corporate college – was responsible for submitting the Jump-Start applications and is available to provide resources and referrals to interested businesses. Every new business that applies to locate in one of the Jump-Start zones must apply through, and be endorsed by, PCC. 

    “The Rural Jump-Start program is a great opportunity for the local economy and the Southwest campus,” said Tonya Nelson, executive dean of PCC’s Mancos campus. “We hope the program will attract businesses to our corner of Colorado, which will benefit out students as well as the community.”

    Businesses that relocate to Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma and San Juan counties will be eligible for multiple tax incentives, including relief from state income tax, state sales and use tax, and county and municipal personal property taxes.

    The Rural Jump-Start program is administered by the state’s Economic Development Commission, Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Department of Revenue.

    More information about Region 9 and its role is available from Laura Lewis Marchino at 970-247-9621 or laura@scan.org.

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    Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.