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Growth Company Initiative

What is a Growth Company?

Our local economy expands when new money is brought into the region. This happens through activities such as tourism, retail, and real estate development. But the most effective source for bringing new money into the region are companies that sell goods and services elsewhere. Some areas refer to companies like this as “base” or “primary” employers.  Here in La Plata County we call them “growth companies.”  These are growing firms that sell their products and/or services outside of Southwest Colorado. These companies often provide some of the highest paying jobs in the area and support numerous other jobs through demand for business services, housing, and retail.

Yes LaPlata  Quality of Life Scott DW Smith


The Growth Company Initiative

Southwest Colorado has long recognized the importance of Growth Companies. Several years ago, local economic development agencies came together with Region 9 to launch the Growth Company Initiative (GCI)  The GCI supports and promotes Growth Companies throughout Southwest Colorado through peer networking, facilitating access to capital, partnering with Fort Lewis College to provide internship and workforce opportunities, and training and mentoring on key issues that growing firms face.

While the GCI is a regional collaboration of several counties in Southwest Colorado, it is driven at the local level where each county’s economic development organization is responsible for developing the initiative. In La Plata County, the GCI falls under the umbrella of the La Plata Economic Development Alliance whose goal is to support local Growth Companies and to encourage the startup and recruitment of more.


Who is in the Growth Company Initiative?

Many of the most exciting firms in Southwest Colorado are Growth Companies and are also members of the La Plata Economic Development Alliance, including:

Chinook Medical Gear, Inc.

Desert Sun Coffee Roasters

Freenotes Harmony Park


Osprey Packs

Ska Brewing

Steamworks Brewing

StoneAge Waterblast Tools


Am I a Growth Company?

A growth company is not determined by size or industry.  The criteria is quite simple:

  • You are for-profit firm
  • You have an innovative or unique product or business model
  • You have a skilled and technical workforce
  • You sell most of your goods or services outside of Southwest Colorado, preferably in national or international markets
  • Your company has been growing or you are interested in growing by developing new markets
  • You are already located in Southwest Colorado, or you are moving your firm here.


Join the Growth Company Initiative

Please read the Growth Company Initiative Brochure or contact the La Plata Economic Development Alliance for more information.  If you are interested in joining the GCI, please call the Alliance to set up an interview to determine your eligibility.