Governor promotes blueprint to make state business-friendly

It isn’t just a bunch of words, said the man who will head Gov. John Hickenlooper’s economic development office starting next week.

The governor’s oft-touted bottom-up economic-development plan that Hickenlooper unveiled last week promises to help the state turn the economy around, said Ken Lund, the governor’s chief legal counsel.

Just wait and see, said Lund, who will replace Dwayne Romero as executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade on Monday.

Lund, the governor and an entourage of his staff were in Grand Junction on Friday touting that plan, dubbed “Colorado Blueprint: A bottom-up approach to economic development.”

Addressing local officials and business leaders in the Grand Valley at Lewis Engineering Inc., 2790 H Road, the governor said the blueprint is just that, a set of guidelines and goals that he is committing his administration to, most of which center on making Colorado as business-friendly as possible.

“You can’t have social services, you can’t have a good education system, you can’t have anything without successful businesses,” Hickenlooper said. “They create things that enhance our quality of life, and create income that gets taxed. Everybody hates the taxes, but without the taxes, you don’t have roads, you don’t have schools, you don’t have businesses. We’re all joined at the hip.”

The blueprint calls for doing everything from increasing access to capital to getting government out of the way of businesses without jeopardizing the state’s natural resources or harming its people.

Lund said that while the blueprint might sound like a bunch of rhetoric from government, there is nothing in it that’s not attainable if everyone works together.

He said the plan includes some strict timelines. If something can’t be done one way, it will be done another.

“We were in Durango earlier today, and they made it clear that it was important that we continue to help people dream,” Lund said.

“I come from the private sector. I’ve been in government for all of seven months. The way I’m hard-wired is around getting things done. That’s what businesses do, and that’s my charge.”



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