Colorado’s Grand Valley (aka Mesa County, population 153,000) has the lowest COVID-19 numbers of any metropolitan area in Colorado – 343 cases and 4 deaths as of August 13. This despite going back to “business as usual” long before most communities in the state. The Grand Valley was already a great place to move your business, but it’s become even more so in a post-COVID world. Here’s why:
WE ARE A DISASTER-FREE ZONE
Community leaders have long touted the Grand Valley as a mostly disaster-free zone. The region is free from floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. COVID-19 was the first natural disaster to ever shut down the economy, except that it really didn’t. Manufacturers have stayed open, as have day care facilities. Many industries have continued to operate in a safe way keeping people employed, while also protecting the most vulnerable. When COVID-19 numbers became stagnant, Mesa County was the first to open in the state, getting back to a new kind of normal before most of the country.
SOCIAL DISTANCING IS OUR NORM
We didn’t know our lifestyle had a name until COVID-19, but social distancing is how we live. 75% of our lands are public, providing us the space and immediate access to the outdoors to recreate and get outside while allowing plenty of space between people. We have it all in western Colorado. Water sports? We’re named for the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Mountain sports? We sit at the base of the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world and home to world-class Nordic skiing and Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Trails? Where should we start? Mountain biking in Fruita? Trail running in Grand Junction? Hiking on the Grand Mesa? What about the Palisade Plunge, a 6000 -foot drop from the top of the mesa into the town of Palisade spanning 33 miles? Currently under construction and scheduled for a 2021 completion, the Palisade Plunge could be in your backyard.
WE HAVE WORKFORCE
A history of energy production means that we have a highly skilled advanced manufacturing workforce supported by robust training programs that begin in our local elementary schools and continue through Western Colorado Community College. Colorado Mesa University – the fastest growing university in the state with 11,000 in enrollment – boasts programs in mechanical and electrical engineering, computer science and cybersecurity, as well as programs to support our largest employer, the healthcare industry. As the only Work-Ready Certified community in the state, we understand our workforce and their skillset in a way no other community can claim. We create unique training programs specific to the jobs and industries that exist in the Grand Valley as well as help our local companies find the workforce they need to grow. We have a number of training and workforce incentives that offset the wages of new employees so that companies are able to grow quickly and efficiently.
WE WANT YOUR BUSINESS
In western Colorado, wide open spaces provide you room to grow and we have the resources to support that growth. We also have a culture of collaboration that supports sustainable development and a comprehensive plan that makes sure that growth is done in a smart way for the future. The Rural-Jump Start Zone tax credit is the most lucrative incentive in the state and allows new businesses to operate tax-free for up to 8 years and has enabled us to recruit 18 new businesses to Grand Junction. We recognize that time means money, which is why our straight-forward planning and permitting process takes 90 days from application to approval.
YOU CAN COMPETE ON A GLOBAL SCALE
Extensive broadband throughout the City of Grand Junction enable remote workers as well as global companies to continue to operate despite the slow down in travel. The Grand Valley includes Grand Junction, as well as the town of Palisade to the east and the city of Fruita, providing you with a workforce that is 75,000 strong. The area is home to the Grand Junction Regional Airport with 18 daily, direct flights (pre-COVID) – and our location on I-70, halfway between Denver and Salt Lake City puts your business within an easy drive of over 5 million people without the congestion and prices that come with urban living. In Colorado’s Grand Valley, you have the amenities of a big city with the charm and culture of a small, rural town.
Interested to learn more? Reach out to the Grand Junction Economic Partnership at (970) 245 4332, firstname.lastname@example.org – or explore this website for more information.