Refreshed citywide policy aims to drive economic development success
By a vote of 8-0, Loveland City Council approved the City’s five-year Economic Development and Tourism Strategic Plans last week, including a revised business assistance/incentive policy.
The plan, “Rebuilding the Backbone of Our Economy,” is an update of the 2017 plan and serves as the City’s official economic development strategy and policy. It closely aligns with the Citywide Strategic Plan which identifies economic vitality as the City’s second highest priority behind public health and safety.
Building on the last five-year plan and following economic uncertainty due to the pandemic, the new plan focuses on strengthening the backbone of the Loveland community though the following core principles:
- Retention and Expansion;
- Attraction: Primary and Retail;
The Visit Loveland Strategic plan focuses on funding, data, communications, product development and customer experience.
“Our job is to drive economic vitality, which means ensuring Loveland’s economy is diverse and robust so that our entire community benefits. This plan is a reflection of how we have been and will continue to be successful in that effort,” said Kelly Jones, City of Loveland economic development director. “From fostering Loveland’s entrepreneurial spirit to supporting and growing Loveland small businesses, to attracting new companies, jobs and tourists – we are focused on rebuilding the backbone of Loveland’s economy and appreciate council’s direction and support for our efforts.”
- The updated plans come on the heels of several years of economic development accomplishments including:
- Assisted in the expansion of existing business and attracted new companies ranging from small startups like Veloce Energy to larger high-growth companies like Bobo’s Oat Bars.
- Guided the Amazon distribution facility through negotiation, due-diligence, annexation and approval.
- Helped keep 500+ Loveland small businesses open during the pandemic with a $750,000 Loveland Small Business Assistance Program and the patio program;
- Continued to promote innovative businesses in the creative sector to The Forge Campus (formerly RMCIT);
- Supported Downtown redevelopment and drove tourism.
The updated Business Assistance/Incentive Policy serves as a guide for analyzing requests for public incentives in projects. The updated policy includes a regional ethics agreement to clarify the process of locating regional businesses, as well as a new incentive disclosure agreement requiring businesses to share whether they have received other public incentives.
Staff conducted a series of outreach efforts to advise the plan including the May 2021 City of Loveland Business Development Town Hall, a business survey conducted in May 2022 and through a 16-person advisory council representing many facets of business, real estate, the private sector, business associations and higher education in Loveland.
Find both strategic plans and the business assistance policy at lovgov.org/services/economic-development/strategic-plans-publications.