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The Good News
2018 April/May
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
Governor Announces
Opportunity Zone nominations
March 23: Gov. John Hickenlooper, along with the
Colorado Office of Economic Development and
International Trade (OEDIT), today announced the
nomination of 126 Opportunity Zones across the
state that will be eligible for new federal tax incen-
tives established in the recently enacted Tax Cuts
and Jobs Act of 2017.
Nominated zones are the result of a thorough,
data-driven process that included an analyti-
cal evaluation of need and opportunity, balanced
with extensive community discussions, to identify
eligible economically distressed areas of Colorado
that are well positioned for investment and offer
meaningful potential to invigorate local econo-
¡°Opportunity Zones are a new tool available
are located outside of the Front Range.
The areas nominated provide a diverse portfo-
lio for investors including a mix of urban, small
town, suburban and rural areas and investment
opportunities ranging from business starts to
real estate development to key infrastructure to
support existing and new businesses.
Governor Hickenlooper and OEDIT have submit-
ted Colorado¡¯s nomination for Opportunity Zones
to the U.S. Treasury for certification.
The certification process is anticipated to take 30
Colorado is exploring state initiatives to support
and complement the federal Opportunity Zone
Updates about Colorado¡¯s Opportunity Zone
program will be posted online at:
USDA Announces $8.4 Million
to Support Veterans and Socially
Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers
WASHINGTON, March 26: The U.S. Department
of Agriculture¡¯s (USDA) Office of Partnerships &
Public Engagement (OPPE) today announced up
to $8.4 million in available funding for training
and technical assistance for socially disadvan-
taged and veteran farmers and ranchers.
Funding is made through the USDA¡¯s Outreach
and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged
Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers
and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501
¡°The USDA is committed to reaching all farmers
and ranchers,¡± said OPPE Director Diane Cullo.
¡°Through the 2501 program, the USDA is build-
ing lasting relationships among these farmers
and ranchers, the local organizations that serve
them, and the USDA¡¯s local, state, regional, and
national offices.¡±
The 2501 Program was originally authorized by
the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade
Act of 1990. 2501 grants seek to enhance the
equitable participation of socially disadvantaged
and veteran farmers and ranchers in USDA
resources and programs, such as Farm Service
Agency loans or grants through the Beginning
Farmer and Rancher Development Program
(BFRDP). Projects may focus on conferences,
training sessions, educational materials, or new
programs to help these farmers and ranchers
thrive and succeed.
Eligible applicants include community-based or-
ganizations, networks, or coalitions of commu-
nity-based organizations; 1890 or 1994 institu-
tions of higher education; American Indian tribal
community colleges or Alaska Native coopera-
tive colleges; Hispanic-serving institutions of
higher education; other higher education insti-
tutions; Indian Tribes or national tribal organiza-
tions. Eligible entities must have experience in
providing agricultural education or other agricul-
tural-related services for socially disadvantaged
and veteran farmers and ranchers.
The deadline for applications is May 15, 2018.
See the request for applications for full details.
Learn more about this funding opportunity
through teleconference on April 25, at 2p EST.
To join each session call: 1.888.455.1685 and
use passcode 7087935.
Examples of FY 2017 funded 2501 projects
include a grant to the National Hmong American
Farmers, Inc., to provide technical and direct
assistance to Hmong farmers in central Califor-
nia who face barriers to successful farming due
to poverty and cultural and linguistic isolation. A
Florida State University project reached veter-
ans with workshops, online agricultural courses,
and 15 farm apprenticeships and managerial
apprenticeships at private farms.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employ-
er and lender.
New Federal Tax Incentives
to revitalize Colorado communities,¡± said
Governor John Hickenlooper. ¡°Our goal is to
support sustainable growth and quality jobs
for all Coloradans. Opportunity Zones will
help us attract investment in businesses,
workforce, housing, and infrastructure where
it is needed most.¡±
See the complete list of census tracts nomi-
nated for Opportunity Zone designation in
Colorado at:
Established by Congress, Opportunity Zones
are a new economic development strategy
to encourage long-term investments in low
income areas, as determined by US Census
data. States were able to nominate 25% of
eligible census tracts. Opportunity Zones
provide a tax incentive for investors to rein-
vest their unrealized capital gains and to put
that money to work in low-income urban and
rural communities.
Though Colorado¡¯s economy is healthy, some
parts of the state have not rebounded as
quickly as others. The Opportunity Zone pro-
gram bolsters new business starts and busi-
ness growth and development of real prop-
erty and infrastructure in distressed areas.
OEDIT partnered with the Department of
Local Affairs and other state agencies to col-
laborate with a broad group of stakeholders,
Funding Opportunity
including economic
developers, commu-
nity partners, local
governments, state
legislators and inves-
tors before selecting
areas to be nominated
for Colorado¡¯s Oppor-
tunity Zones.
¡°By engaging Colo-
rado communities
and potential inves-
tors, we¡¯ve identified
Opportunity Zones
that complement lo-
cal efforts to create
economic momentum
in areas where growth
has been slow,¡± said
OEDIT Executive
Director Stephanie
¡°Our holistic approach
ensures we¡¯ve select-
ed zones where this
incentive can be cata-
lytic for investment.¡±
Colorado¡¯s statewide
approach to locating
it¡¯s Opportunity Zone
locations was informed
by its existing eco-
nomic transformation
efforts underway,
including Blueprint 2.0
recipients, Creative
Districts, Main Streets,
Rural Jump Start, Cer-
tified Small Business
Communities, Enter-
prise Zones and rural
economic development
A majority of the ar-
eas selected as
Opportunity Zones