Access to Economic Opportunity

Economic recovery in Colorado has not been even, with some communities experiencing stagnation and population decline, while the Front Range and many mountain communities face record growth, housing pressures, and cost burdens to vulnerable populations.

The goal of this program area is to increase opportunities for good jobs, entrepreneurial growth, asset ownership, and economic advancement for communities across Colorado. Strategies to increase economic access include community wealth building efforts, mainstreet revitalization, heritage tourism, and creative sector development. Within the field of community wealth building, Gates will examine investment opportunities that provide innovative pathways to build local assets. Examples could include collaborations with Community Development Financial Institutions that provide capital to entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional sources of capital, the use of cooperative ownership and community land trust models, and technical assistance and incubation programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs in communities of interest.

When considering mainstreet revitalization, heritage tourism, and creative sector investments, the Foundation will continue to seek projects with public and private stakeholder involvement, broad community support, and a demonstrable pathway to increase jobs and economic opportunity for local residents.