The town of Mancos has opted in to the state’s Rural Jump-Start Program to entice businesses to move in with incentive payments and extensive tax relief.
According to a press release, the tax relief can include credits, exemptions and refunds from state income tax, state sales and use tax, and county and municipal personal property taxes.
Employees of new businesses receive a tax credit for 100% of state income taxes on their wages for work in the rural jump-start zone.
The program also applies to local startups that have a unique product or service. Eligible businesses must create at least five jobs in a certain time frame and pay above-average wages.
The primary objective is to bring business that are relocating to Colorado to the town.
The Mancos Town Board unanimously adopted a resolution in favor of entering the program in December. Montezuma County and the City of Cortez are also participating.
Rachel Marchbanks, Economic Development Coordinator for the Town of Mancos, believes it’s important for businesses to be aware of the potential tools the program can give them.
“We definitely want to get the word out locally,” Marchbanks said. “Our businesses are hanging in there, but there are some that are struggling like others in the county and the state.”
In order to qualify,a municipality must be in a county that the Colorado Economic Development Commission has designated as “economically distressed.”
A county must hit at least three of the commission’s economic requirements. Some of these requirements include having a per capita income that’s at least 20% below the state average, having a countywide personal income that’s at least 20% below the state average and an avarage unemployment level during the past five years that’s at least 20% above the state average.
Laura Lewis Marchino, executive director of the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, said towns like Mancos can benefit from these programs.
“This kind of puts you on the map,” said Marchino. “I would say for Mancos, if they weren’t Rural Jump-Start, a business could look at the county but they’re not necessarily going to give Mancos a second look. And now they will.”
The Rural Jump-Start Program will accept applications through Dec. 21, 2025.