Measure extending Economic Development Commission signed in Grand Junction

A commission created to promote economic development in Colorado will continue to operate under legislation signed into law in Grand Junction.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 17-280 during an event at the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

The bill extends the operation of the Colorado Economic Development Commission by changing the repeal date of its originating statute to July 1, 2025. The bill also authorizes the commission to transfer money appropriated to the commission to the Colorado economic development fund and to spend that money without further appropriation.

The commission was created to promote economic development through various programs and by approving loans and grants.

State Rep. Dan Thurlow, a Republican from Grand Junction who joined with State Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and State Sen. Jack Tate in sponsoring the measure, said the Economic Development Commission plays a significant role in growing and sustaining rural communities throughout Colorado. “Sen. Tate and I are grateful for the governor’s support of this bill, which will ensure that the EDC can continue to back new and expanding businesses in the state for several more years.”

Tim Fry, president of Mountain Racing Products in Grand Junction and chairman of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership Board, also praised enactment of the law.

“The governor’s continued support of the EDC is a testament to his greater efforts to extend the economic growth experienced on the Front Range to all parts of Colorado,” Fry said. “As a member of the Mesa County business community, that means a tremendous amount.”

Fry said the Rural Jump-Start Program offering tax incentives to new operations has helped in establishing eight ventures in Mesa County that in turn are expected to result in 600 jobs and $25 million in annual salaries by 2020. “They are here because of the Rural Jump-Start tax credit, a program made possible by the EDC.”