In recent years, Denver has earned a reputation as one of the top places for new businesses. The capital of Colorado is expected to keep rising as an international hub. In 2014, Forbes also dubbed Denver as the second-best place to launch a business. In a 2019 study by WalletHub, it was revealed that Denver was among the top ten big cities for starting a business. This research considered several factors from office space affordability to business survival rate.
But is it time for you to move or start your company here? Before you leap, you first have to understand why it is such a lucrative place for business.
Why Denver Is A Good Choice For New Businesses
Data has shown that “ The Mile High” City is an excellent place for startups. But why?
The following are the reasons that have contributed to the popularity of Denver among new business owners:
Quality Of Life
Denver is a fantastic place if you are an active, outdoorsy person since many things to do and places to see. What makes this even better is that the cost of living is relatively low. Some of the best universities and hospitals are located close by too. It is incredible to think that the cost of living here is just marginally higher than the national median.
The city is conducive for business because people are generally happier and less stressed than their counterparts in other big American cities. Not only that, but businesses can also make their money go further due to the affordability of rent and other necessities. Instead of spending more on office space, companies can invest the money on other factors instead.
Availability Of Talent
Businesses have also taken advantage of the educated workforce. Denver is among the most highly educated cities in the United States, boasting the highest high school and college graduation rate. The University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, University of Denver, and Colorado State University are near the city. Startups will have no problem recruiting in the city since it has such a vast pool of talents.
Aside from the homegrown talent, millennials from all over the country are flocking the Mile High City. After all, Fortune 500 companies such as Facebook and Amazon now have offices here. The scene has truly changed in Denver since it used to be unimaginable for coastal investors to set up shop here. This shift is expected to keep going in the future.
Easy Transit To Either Coast
Many people only think about the East and West Coasts when it comes to business. However, it would be a disservice to dismiss the intermountain region. The central location of Denver has been an advantage to new startups thanks to its proximity to both coasts. It is quite affordable to fly either way. Aside from the cheaper costs, it takes less time to transit as well.
Sense Of Community
With the growing startup scene in the city, it is not difficult to look for support and even mentorship. Unlike cities bigger than Denver, the community is less competitive and more supportive. This has paved the way for the success of different businesses in a variety of industries.
There are also startup campuses designed to help new businesses grow and succeed. The willingness to support other businesses has been critical to many companies. In turn, these businesses give back to the community by helping out new companies. This quality has become characteristic of the Denver startup scene. It is hard to replicate this feeling of community anywhere else.
The startup scene in Denver has received a lot of support from the federal and city government. For one thing, John Hickenlooper established the Colorado Innovation Network when he was the governor. Its goal is to create an innovation network linking the state government, research institutions, higher education, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders.
Meanwhile, Mayor Michael B. Hancock considers the city a hotbed for start-ups akin to Silicon Valley. Mayor Michael is familiar with the leading companies in Denver and wants to develop the technology sector’s growth. The Office of Economic Development and Denver Metro Chamber Commerce also provide valuable resources to small businesses and startups.
Low Taxes And Business Incentives
In line with the previous point, the state offers businesses income tax credits to create jobs with its job growth incentive tax program. Tax credits are available for relocation, business expansion, new business development, and job creation in economically-disadvantaged areas or enterprise zones.
Denver might charge a monthly head tax in the $4 to $5.75 range per employee, but businesses from the low corporate tax fee. Colorado is among the few states boasting a flat income tax that happens to be the fourth lowest in the nation.
The open culture of the city has led to the success of many minority and female entrepreneurs. This contrasts heavily with the diversity problems that plague the startup scene in places like New York City and Silicon Valley. Business Org even called Denver the top city for new female entrepreneurs. It helps that elected officials actively support more marginalized entrepreneurs to level the playing field.
Without a doubt, Denver deserves its reputation as an excellent place for new businesses. It is a welcoming city with a sense of community, support from the government, favorable tax laws, low cost of living, high quality of life, and diversity. The Mile High City is attracting aspiring entrepreneurs and talented young people for these reasons.
However, it is worth wondering if its collaborative feel will wane now that word is getting out. Only time will tell how the rapid development will affect the city. Despite everything, it is unlikely that Denver will lose its unique charms any time soon.