The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has partnered with the Colorado Center for Innovation for Community Capital (CC4ICC) to assist Colorado businesses with obtaining Opportunity Zone funding. CC4ICC started in November 2019 as a way to help small businesses secure funding and navigate through the myriad of options. The contract with OEDIT expires July 2021 but the intent of CC4ICC is to keep pressing on.
“One of the things that I saw was that it’s difficult to grow a business from getting ideas to something that can really be impactful,” said Ron Stites, Executive Director of CC4ICC. “Raising a million dollars or even a few million dollars is a very difficult spot. One thing that needs to be done is improving the landscape for raising capital for small businesses. You also have to assist small businesses in communicating their good ideas so the communication piece is very important.”
“Opportunity Zone investments to date have primarily been used for real estate deals,” said Mike Landes, Opportunity Zone program director at OEDIT. “With the recent clarifications on regulations of businesses, it is an opportune time to support businesses and for investors who are looking at savings on capital gains.”
Opportunity Zones were created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These were primarily Census Tracts that had historically under-performed economically. The Federal Government gave guidelines, but detailed selection of the Opportunity Zones was delegated to the states. The State of Colorado moved quickly and thoroughly to select a good mix of Opportunity Zones that included both rural and urban areas. The OZCAP is the latest in a series of efforts to bring economic development to these Zones.
For small businesses and low-income communities, access to working capital is a perennial barrier that is further heightened by current economic conditions. The Opportunity Zone business incentive provides these businesses with a much-needed economic tool and OEDIT’s new partnership with CC4ICC helps these stakeholders unlock that economic tool.
Too often the small business must make compromises that hinder success. This is where the OZCAP Program launched by the OEDIT can help. OEDIT has teamed with CC4ICC to provide up to 10 businesses in Colorado assistance in raising capital to go to the next level. The program focuses on companies located in or willing to relocate to Colorado Opportunity Zones.
Businesses that are in or want to relocate to a Colorado Opportunity Zone can leverage CC4ICC’s resources to help create a pitch deck, draft a pro forma or receive counsel for other needs related to Opportunity Zone funding. In addition, CC4ICC helps connect businesses with an extensive list of potential investors.
The first round of funding has expired but visit www.cc4icc.com/oedit for information about when a second round will open. Resources are limited. Hence, businesses are encouraged to sign up for the program as soon as practical to begin the process.
“In the wake of Covid, getting the word out is more needed than ever,” said Jeff Brubaker, Capital Campaign Manager for CC4ICC. “The Glendale Chamber responded to us pretty quickly and we appreciate that and that they are willing to have these kinds of conversations and reach out any way that they can with their platform. Our mission is to get the word out in any way people can help us.”
It is important to note that the small business owner will have a lot to do. They will have to do the heavy lifting. They will be in charge of their destiny, but they will have the expert help of CC4ICC and OEDIT at no charge to them.
After signing up, you will be contacted by CC4ICC to get help working through the process. For more information call 303-872-3754 or email one of the following: Jeff Brubaker, Capital Campaign Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ron Stites, Executive Director, email@example.com.