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Small business owners react to Mayor’s State of the City address

Mayor John Suthers highlighted a booming economy and record levels of private investment and growth in the city during his 5th State of the City address Thursday.

Suthers pointed to an unprecedented level of public and private investment.

“We now have one billion dollars of new private investment in the Interquest corridor alone,” he said, before remarking on “a major expansion of convention facilities at the Broadmoor.”

He also brought up major projects like the new Summit House on the top of Pikes Peak, hospitals and restaurants and widening of roads.

But outside these major projects and multi-million dollar deals are small businesses betting the Springs has what it takes to support new ventures.

Business owners like Jennifer Taylor are banking on the boom.

Taylor is marketing manager at Milestones for Growth – a collaborative space.

A third-generation Springs native, Taylor wants to nurture new ideas. Her business is to help other businesses and get them off the ground. She says as the city grows this is the next big phase of development.

“The project completely corresponds to what the Mayor said. We’re seeing a lot of manufacturing in town. A lot of start-ups,” Taylor said.

This is in line with the numbers from the Chamber of Commerce, which points to national rankings like number 4 “Best Cities for Small Business” and the number 1 “Fastest Growing City for Millennials.”

Taylor says she wants to act as an incubator for entrepreneurs. She starts companies out with a one-year lease to start off, and they can stay as long as they want.

“They stay. They grow. Then they move on to their own building or a bigger space, and they continue to grow. But the hope is they stay in Colorado Springs,” she said.

The mayor also spoke about challenges with statewide transportation funding, homelessness and the need for additional affordable housing.

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