Thumbtack.com contacted more than 6,000 small business owners nationwide to determine the best places to do business. Colorado received an overall ranking of B+ across multiple categories.
9NEWS Business Anchor Gregg Moss talked to Governor John Hickenlooper about some Colorado companies that are being honored in a few weeks for the work they are doing to fuel the state's economic engine.
The Colorado Companies to Watch organization celebrating its fourth year of honoring small business in the state. This year, 50 companies have been nominated and honored for the great work they are doing.
"These are stage two companies," Hickenlooper said. "So they've got somewhere between six and 100 employees. They've got sales of $750,000 up to $50 million, and they are companies that are about to grow very rapidly. They're the optimistic people in that poll."
"We are estimating that they are going to grow roughly by a third just this year," Hickenlooper said. "If you want to really get more jobs in Colorado [and] get our business economy going a lot faster, then we ought to study these companies and make sure they know each other. This will now mean we have 200 of these stage two rapid growth companies that have been celebrated and they're from all over the state. And now they get to know each other."
Hickenlooper wants to try to figure out how his office can assist their growth.
"We get to figure out how can we help them more," Hickenlooper said. "Do we cut more red tape? What's their tax burdens? Have they got sufficient access to capital?"
In particular, Hickenlooper talked about OtterBox, a company that has enjoyed rapid growth, after starting out with about a dozen employees.
"I think they're close to 500 [employees] now [with] sales of over $300 million a year," Hickenlooper said. "I mean they are just a rocket ship that is putting money back into the community of Fort Collins.
According to Ken Lund, the head of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, a special gala will be held to honor 50 small Colorado businesses.
"The gala is June 22 and we'd love for you to come out and celebrate some of these companies," Lund said. "These are the best companies in Colorado."
Hickenlooper knows all about operating a small business.
"I remember when we first opened the Wynkoop Brewing company and how nervous I was and how hard we had to work," Hickenlooper said.
He had some advice for the small business that will attend the gala.
"You can do it," Hickenlooper said. "Just keep at it."
9NEWS is a sponsor of the Companies To Watch gala on June 22.
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