Did you know…that if you own a small business in Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, San Miguel, Ouray or Hinsdale counties you probably qualify to claim a state tax credit? Fortunately, even if you don’t know—your accountant does. “If you have a small business in this geographical region, you are entitled to a state tax credit,” Region 10 Enterprise Zone Coordinator Rhona Keckler said. “The majority of accountants and CPA’s in the region are kept informed—I contact them with any new information.”
Since the Enterprise Zone program began in the early 1990’s, more than 5,000 businesses have been certified and 5,500 new jobs created. The program encourages investment in Western Colorado’s business and non-profit communities. “This program helps people to get something back,” Keckler said, “especially in a recession. New businesses very often have no state tax liability, and when that is offset by a state tax credit, it can really help with cash flow in the first two or three years.” The Enterprise Zone program also helps the economy as a whole. By Sept. of 2012, 81.9 million had been invested through the program.
“That is remarkable considering the situation we are in,” Keckler said. “In a good year, that number can reach $120 million.” One national company’s investment in Colorado was inspired by the Enterprise Zone, she said. “They chose Colorado over five other states,” she said. “They appreciate the help, and pass the information along to others—now there is an equipment company giving tax credits to its customers, doing quite a lot of good. This has greatly benefitted the region.”
The Enterprise Zone Program also assists non-profit organizations throughout the region. Qualified Enterprise Zone Contribution Projects, which must be approved by the state, earned contributions of $1,006,309, generating approximately $201,261 in tax credits in 2012. In 2011, Contribution Projects earned $2.03 million in investment and generated $500,000 in tax credits. Five new contribution projects were approved in 2012. Locally, qualified contribution projects currently include Montrose Economic Development Corporation Marketing, Telluride Montrose Regional Air Organization, Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, Montrose County Senior Citizens Transport, House of Promise Teen Challenge, Wright Opera House Foundation, Lake City DIRT, Western State College Center, PAX, Ridgway Concert Series, Public Art in Ridgway Colorado, Rocky Mountain Bio Labs, the Basin Clinic, Colorado Mesa University Montrose Campus, Tri-County Resource Center, Main in Motion, Gunnison Valley Hospital Foundation, Museum of the Mountain West, Gunnison Arts Center, Delta Truck Route, Six Points Capital Campaign, Sherbino Theater and the Uncompahgre Medical Clinic.