The city of Boulder has awarded its first business incentive -- a rebate of up to $80,698 for building permit fees -- to LeftHand Networks, a Boulder -based data storage company that had been on the hunt for new space outside of the city.
As I wrote earlier, these economic "vitality" moves are worth watching because this is the first go-around for Boulder's pilot economic incentive program. Funding for the program, which was approved by city council in September 2006, will come up for consideration at the end of 2007, when it now appears almost an entirely new council will be in place.
LeftHand apparently had taken a look at sites in nearby Longmont and Louisville, but as we reported in the Boulder County Business Report, they signed a deal to lease about 36,000 square feet in Boulder's Flatiron Park, keeping a good employer in the city. No doubt, the city and Boulder Economic Council's efforts to talk to the company and get an incentive moving their way helped with the decision.
The flexible rebate program is one of four options available in the city's new bag of business incentives. Earlier, the city approved Umbria, a market research software and services company in Boulder, to receive some funds for employee training assistance. Umbria got the OK for $600 in matching funds; Umbria has about 30 employees here.
Several other businesses have applied for Boulder incentives, including Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which wants to remodel its Gunbarrel offices to add more employees and Mountain Sports Media, which is looking to consolidate employees into a single location.
For years, neighboring cities like Longmont, Broomfield and Westminster have had active business incentive programs in place, often luring Boulder companies with some attractive packages. It's good to at least see Boulder in the race these days.
For more information on Boulder's economic vitality program and how to apply for incentives, go online to city's vitality program info and contacts.