Regional Resources Bulletin

2017 Colorado School District Cost of Living Study
Read the full study here. Every two years, the Colorado Legislative Council commissions a cost of living study for each of the 178 school districts in Colorado. This index is one of the key components in the determination of school districts’ per pupil funding formula mandated by the Public School Finance Act of 1994. The 2017 study, conducted by Pacey Economics, Inc.,  is based on the probable annual expenditures for a “typical” household defined by the Colorado Legislative Council to consist of a three-person household with a household income in 2017 of $53,115. The $53,115 income is based on the average salary of a Colorado teacher with a Bachelor’s degree and 10 or more years of experience.  The market basket of goods and services used in the study included things like housing, transportation, goods, services, and taxes across Colorado’s school districts. Once costs for each school district were calculated for 2017, the study then determined the relative cost (ranking) across school districts.
There are eight school districts among NWCCOG communities: one each in Eagle, Jackson, Pitkin, and Summit Counties; two in Grand County, one in Glenwood Springs, and one in Steamboat Springs. Six of the eight school districts in our member communities ranked in the top 10 for highest cost of living out of 178 school districts total in Colorado. The following shows where NWCCOG member communities ranked:
#1 – Aspen-1 (Pitkin County)
#2 – Summit RE-1 (Summit County)
#3 – Roaring Fork RE 1 (City of Glenwood Springs, portion of Pitkin County)
#4 – Steamboat Springs RE-2 (City of Steamboat Springs)
#5 – Eagle County RE 50 (Eagle County)
#8 – East Grand 2 (Winter Park area of Grand County)
#22 – West Grand 1JT (Kremmling area of Grand County)
#71 – North Park R-1 (Jackson County)
Vail Valley Partnership 2017-18 Workforce Survey Report
Vail Valley Economic Development has been conducting a workforce survey in Eagle County since 2006-07.  Here are some conclusions from the 2017-18 survey (read full report  on the Vail Valley Means Business website):
  • Business owners and managers as a whole predict a negative change in the economy in general for the upcoming year. This was also true for the vitality of one’s own business, but the magnitude of the negative trend was smaller.
  • After 5 years of declines, predictions about the ability to hire and retain employees in the upcoming year held relatively steady in the current survey year.
  • Frustration with housing continues to grow and moved in a negative direction from 2017- 18. Negative opinions about housing are higher than ever found in the history of conducting the survey. More than 3 out 4 businesses feel that the housing situation negatively impacts their ability to hire and retain employees and this issue was mentioned frequently when asked about barriers to growing their business in the community.
  • Over half of the businesses feel that their employees have a negative opinion of the availability of affordable child care, an issue that was introduced to the survey for the first time in 2016-17. About 1 out of 4 businesses feel that lack of child care negatively impacts their ability to hire and retain employees.
  • Over half of the businesses feel that their employees have a negative opinion of the availability of affordable health care, an issue that was introduced to the survey for the first time this year. Over 1 out of 3 businesses feel that lack of affordable health care negatively impacts their ability to hire and retain employees. However, a number of the businesses provide comprehensive coverage and 31% of respondents say their employees have a positive experience on this issue.
  • Almost 2 out of 3 businesses surveyed indicate that they expect to expand in the next three years and about 1 out of 4 say they are considering expanding or diversifying into a different service sector. Businesses that report plans to expand or diversify into a different service industry remains at a 5-year high point.
Funding & Technical Assistance
Gray and Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Grant Program
Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). The grants provide financial assistance through reimbursements to local law enforcement and district attorneys for actual expenses related to investigation and prosecution of unlicensed marijuana cultivation or distribution operations. The grant program has four funding priorities: rural areas, large-scale operations, organized crime operations, and operations that divert marijuana outside of Colorado. Applications are due Aug. 31. More information here. 
EDA FY 2018 Economic Development Assistance Programs (EDAP) Funding Opportunity
Under this NOFO, EDA solicits applications for construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Projects funded by these programs will leading to the creation and retention of jobs and increased private investment, advancing innovation, enhancing the manufacturing capacities of regions, providing workforce development opportunities and growing ecosystems that attract foreign direct investment. More information here.
CO4F has allocated over $5 million in loans and grants to help grocery stores open and healthy food retail operations expand or retain ownership. By providing financing to new and existing stores, CO4F has helped to create 143 jobs and retain 125 jobs. For more information, click here or contact Erin Lyng at 720.519.0535 or
Eagle County 

Neighborhood Partnership Program
The Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) provides a portal for community groups and neighborhood organizations to improve their neighborhoods by supporting creative ideas and addressing community-based priorities. The program is unique because it puts resources into the hands of small and grassroots groups to activate ideas that benefit the health, safety and well-being of the community. Applying groups will share in the cost of the project with Eagle County Government. Cost-share can be achieved through financial contribution, in-kind contributions and/or donated labor and volunteer hours (sweat equity).  Match by sweat equity is highly encouraged and demonstrates community member and partner support for the project. Applications will be accepted and projects will be awarded on a rolling basis. Project awards are typically $1,000 to $8,000, though projects outside of that range may be considered.
Grand & Jackson Enterprise Initiative
The Grand and Jackson Enterprise Initiative offers
FREE and confidential business management coaching to anyone wanting to start or expand a business in Grand and Jackson Counties. For more information, contact Patrick Brower, Enterprise Facilitator at 970-531-0632 or at More information here.
Deadline: July 10, 2018.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) seeks applications for wetland and riparian restoration, enhancement, and creation projects to support its Wetlands Program Strategic Plan. The intent of this funding is to support the two primary goals of the program: (1) Improve the distribution and abundance of ducks, and opportunities for public waterfowl hunting; (2) Improve the status of declining or at-risk species. More information here.
Yampa Valley SCORE Business Plan Competition 2018
Hosted by Colorado Mountain College; Sponsored by Startup Colorado
Bring your great idea to the marketplace!  Submit your business play by October 1, 2018.    Cash prizes for the top two plans: $6,000.00 1st place and $4,000.00 second place. Business plans and presentations are judged by Yampa Valley SCORE business counselors. More information here. 
Webinar: Communicating Community Risk & Resilience
July 12 (12-1 pm)
Cultivating a community willingness and motivation to reduce risk and build resilience means building a strong community engagement strategy. This free webinar will focus on making the case for hazard mitigation and pre-disaster preparedness through land use planning. Learn about national, regional, and local efforts that change the way communities understand and think about disaster risks, with the specific goal of helping communities take actions to increase their resilience to natural disasters. This webinar will also feature several Colorado case studies. Register here.
9th Annual Women’s Small Business Conference
Friday, July 13, 2018 at the Sky Ute Casino, Ignacio, CO
Join the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network and
 breakthrough to excellence with a day of educational seminars, one-on-one consulting, valuable networking opportunities, and exciting speakers! This year, the keynote speaker will be Keri Gohman, President of Xero Americas, who will share her inspirational journey.
Essentials for Small Business 2018 – Tools for thinking/starting/expanding small business
Wed. July 25 from 8am-4pm
At the Summit Community & Senior Center, Frisco
More information to come!
August 9
Offered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Elected and appointed municipal, county and special district officials and housing authorities from across the state are invited to participate in this day-long housing workshop, which will provide valuable information and tools to those leading smaller jurisdictions. More information here.
Colorado Cities & Towns Week (Sept. 10-16)
Colorado Cities & Towns Week can be an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the shared services and partnerships you have to better serve residents. To further promote the successful cooperation of local governments and nonprofits to citizens, highlight the partnership in your municipal newsletter, social media, website, etc. You could even co-host an event! The Colorado Municipal League (CML) will issue tips on how you can celebrate Colorado Cities & Towns Week in each issue of the CML Newsletter. These tips also are compiled on the CML website ( for reference, along with other resources as they are developed. For more information or questions, contact CML Membership Services Manager Lisa White at, 303-831-6411, or 866-578-0936.
Economic Development Council of Colorado – Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference
October 24 – 26, 2018 at the Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park, CO
EDCC’s Annual Drive | Lead | Succeed Conferences aim to provide the knowledge, tools, and connections that are vital to foster a growing Colorado economy.
Gather the industry’s top influencers and thought leaders together to share knowledge and answer questions that no one else can; Offer new and vital tools and solutions to pressing economic issues facing Colorado’s professional economic development community; Facilitate quality collaboration and opportunity to exchange fresh, new ideas among Colorado’s leading Economic Development professionals, business and non-profit leaders, government officials and more. This growing three-day conference, is the premier statewide event, that gathers over 200 statewide economic development stakeholders and explores the latest developments, trends, and the future of Colorado’s economic climate.
Access to Capital
Would a Loan help your Business? Contact the Northwest Loan Fund
The Northwest Loan Fund (NLF) can guide you to the right combination of funding. Contact Anita Cameron, Director of Business Lending, if you: want to expand, acquire, or start a business; are looking for favorable rates; just have questions. We are particularly interested new or growing businesses. Generally loan amounts are between $5,000 and $500,000. Rates and fees are very favorable. Contact Anita Cameron, 970-455-1059 for more information.