by Chet Hardin
State Rep. Pete Lee tried to get his economic gardening bill through the Republican-controlled state House last year to no avail.
This session, with his colleagues in the Democratic Party in charge of the Legislature, the Springs Democrat appears to be having better luck. Yesterday, the bill passed out of the House Business, Labor & Economic & Workforce Development Committee and it's way to the Appropriations Committee.
The bill would create
an economic gardening pilot project in the Colorado office of economic development (office). Through the pilot project, staff members of the office and small business development centers (SBDCs) who have been trained and certified in economic gardening principles and practices provide 12 months of strategic assistance to at least 20 Colorado-headquartered second-stage companies and SBDC clients selected by the state director of SBDCs in the office. The state director reports annually on the results of the pilot project to the general assembly, and the pilot project terminates in 2016.
According to the bill, this pilot project would assist business owners of "companies that are beyond the start-up stage but have not yet fully matured, with innovative products or services that satisfy market needs" by providing them with "specialized business assistance to refine core strategies and from access to in-depth market research, competitor analyses, geographic information systems, search engine optimization, and other strategic information, as well as from relationships with mentors and advisers."