The state of the Denver Metro area economy is strong—and though this presents unique opportunities for growth, it also presents challenges for business owners according to Dr. Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado.
Dr. Wobbekind was joined by Maya MacGuineas, Travis Brown, and Tim Jones as speakers at the South Metro Denver Chamber’s annual Economic Forecast Breakfast, presented by the Moody Insurance Agency.
Dr. Wobbekind explained to the sold-out auditorium of nearly 500 attendees that continued population growth, while not as rapid as it has been in previous years, has put upward pressure on home prices, and that the subsequent low unemployment rate has left employers scrambling to find qualified applicants for the positions they have open.
“The economy is still strong here. We just don’t have enough labor,” explained Wobbekind.
Maya MacGuineas, representing the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and Fix the Debt Campaign, cast a cautionary light on the economic outlook for 2018 in light of current federal spending patterns.
“The big challenge now is that our national debt is 77% of GDP… ‘Kick the Can’ is the way we operate in Washington now. What this country really needs is an economic growth plan,” she explained to the audience. MacGuineas further explained that, while tax cuts will grow the economy, debt undermines that growth and compromises the country’s ability to both meet existing obligations and respond to unforeseen economic shifts.
Tim Jones, Senior Director of Media and Communications at First Rule Media, highlighted the opportunities presented by a business-friendly environment.
“Growth flows to beneficial tax situations,” explained Jones, while highlighting the growth Florida’s economy has experienced as a result of a business-friendly atmosphere. “It is the innovative states with business-friendly tax policies and regulations that are growing.” In explaining this, Jones highlighted high-tax states that were losing business investment and thereby revenue to lower-cost, alternative states.
Travis Brown, CEO of First Rule Media, expanded on this by putting into tangible numbers the benefit that both individuals and companies could experience by simply moving to a lower-tax environ.
“A family moving from Chicago to Denver making $138,000 a year would save $1,380 per year in taxes alone. There is a reason that money is flowing from high-tax to low- or no-tax states…and federal tax reform is going to magnify this.”
He further explained that the recent tax bill presents a unique opportunity for small businesses to invest in both employees and equipment, and that these investments will not only reinvigorate local communities, but will also produce more revenue at the state level.
“Small business owners should be looking into buying machinery, buying new vehicles, because it’s going to be a very beneficial time to make investments into your small business.”
Dr. Richard Wobbekind, shares his 2018 Colorado Business Economic Outlook Book.
Download the 53rd Annual Outlook Book