Gov. John Hickenlooper joined Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and Secretary of State Wayne Williams on Tuesday to announce a new online tool that will give residents a chance to start businesses from the palms of their hands.
State officials are hoping the mobile-friendly website, MyBizColorado, will make it easier for folks to open businesses here, learn more about resources available to the business community and connect them with various state agencies.
The new website will be accessible through both smartphones and tablets.
“When I first got elected, we said from the beginning, we want to make Colorado the number one state for business,” Hickenlooper said. “The highest standards of ethics … but we recognize that entrepreneurs and small business are the main (resources) of job creation.”
The website replaces Colorado Business Express, which wasn’t available on mobile platforms. Hickenlooper — who said he experienced some hurdles when he tried opening a brewpub in Denver in the 1980s —said there were systems in place that caused “headaches” for people who were interested in opening a businesses.
The new website will help, “accelerate and facilitate” the start of new businesses, Hickenlooper said. It will help keep Colorado’s economy among the strongest in the country, which Hickenlooper said has been the case the last few years.
“I think the only way we can keep that momentum is you continue looking at how you can support those entrepreneurs and small business more successfully,” Hickenlooper said.
Some of the things business owners will be able to do through the new website, according to a release:
Register for a sales tax license
Register employees for wage withholding
Register employees for unemployment insurance
Find resources to help plan a new business and obtain professional licenses
Like Hickenlooper, Williams said he started his own business in the state. But, “there was really no help, there was really no guidance for what you can do.” Williams said the new website shows a new, easier process that’s designed to be “user-friendly.” He said the purpose of MyBizColorado is to walk people through the process. It provides resources liken additional numbers for agencies and helps answer questions new business owners may have when establishing a business.
“We’re going to continue to make it easy for entrepreneurs to establish a business to be part of that Colorado economy and be part of the American Dream,” Williams said. “MyBizColorado is one of those websites that helps open the doors and makes it easier to use instead of a maze to use.”
The website was endorsed by Tony Gagliardi, Colorado State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business. He helps represents more than 7,000 small business owners. Gagliardi said the new website will give new biz owners a chance to hit the ground running and avoid some of the pitfalls that prompt visits from regulatory bodies.
“We believe that MyBizColorado is an important tool, a tool to continue to guide us in the future,” Gagliardi said.
A release from the state said small businesses in Colorado employ one million people, or about half the state’s workforces. These small businesses create roughly 30,000 to 40,000 news jobs in the state every year, according to the release.