The Proximity Space team

The Proximity Space team in a meeting. 

By Andrew Kiser

The City of Montrose has received some help in marketing local opportunity zones

The city was rewarded $10,000 from the Colorado Department of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to market the “Montrose, CO Opportunity Zone Prospectus: Invitation to Invest.” And it’ll also go toward an associated video highlighting the city and county’s three designated Opportunity Zone Census tracts on the east side of Montrose County.

The three census tracts identified as 966202, 966503, 966300 encompass a significant portion of the City of Montrose near the north and east to the Montrose County boundaries next to Delta and Gunnison counties.

City of Montroses Director of Business Innovation Chelsea Rosty has previously said for Montrose to stand out, a professionally done video, promoting the Western Slope town, would be ideal.

The city will use this grant by working with Slate Communications, a Fort Collins company, which focuses on community engagement marketing for local governments.

The strategy will be to use both owned, paid and earned media and leverage existing partnerships. Additionally, the grant will fund social media advertising, ads in investor magazines and in airports including Seattle-Tacoma, Mineta San Jose, and Denver International airports.

The marketing strategy, along with the video was funded by a $14,500 grant from Colorado Main Street, which is a division of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

This will go to pay for the video, and a distribution strategy which would get the video and prospectus to interested investors and developers, Rosty said.

The City of Montrose and Montrose County have partnered on a community opportunity zone prospectus project with the help of the Department of Local Affairs. The idea is that the project will work as an outline and will be a tool to market the local opportunity zones to potential investors and developers.

The opportunity zone prospectus also outlines the community’s priorities and was created through a community process through feedback gathered from various professions and industries. Additional information came through demographic data on the community and population and an outline of important projects in Montrose accepting.

“This momentum is building, and you have all the right people on the government side you have all the right people on the private side,” Storm King Distillery David Fishering said in a press release. “I think we are going to be the hot spot on the Western Slope here in the next 10 years.”

Three broad areas, or census tracts, in the county were among the 126 tracts in Colorado that, in April 2018, won U.S. Department of Treasury certification as Colorado Opportunity Zones. The zones, in essence, allow investors to reinvest taxable income on capital gains into an opportunity fund.

The opportunity zones program was established under the federal tax reform legislation of 2017. It allows for temporary deferral of capital gains in the gross income for capital gains that are reinvested into opportunity funds, according to the state of Colorado.

The legislation also established a step-up in basis for capital gains reinvested into an opportunity fund. This basis increases by 10 percent if the investment is held for at least five years, and by an additional 5 percent if held for at least seven years, according to a fact sheet prepared by Economic Innovation Group, which supported the federal legislation.

In certain situations, an investment held for at least 10 years may be eligible for a permanent exclusion from taxable capital gains income.

An investor also could get a 15-percent reduction on capital gains tax and any equity that has been gained from the opportunity zone.

Recently, Montrose has benefited from opportunity zones. In August, the OEDIT announced that Proximity Space Inc. successfully placed an opportunity zone investment.

Funding acquired by Proximity will be used to grow the company’s network of independent coworking spaces, CEO Josh Freed previously said. Proximity’s software and hardware solutions help coworking spaces manage operations such as membership billing, conference room booking and remote door access.

The initial wave of investments in opportunity zones, both in Colorado and nationwide, have mostly targeted real estate developments. However, guidelines issued in April 2019 provided information on how businesses can qualify for opportunity zone investment as well.

is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.

Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.

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