STATEWIDE — Rural Colorado communities will once again be invited to participate in a range of catalytic economic development initiatives this year through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) Blueprint 2.0 program. OEDIT announced today that applications for the next round of Blueprint 2.0 offerings will open on March 15, 2018.
Launched in 2015, Blueprint 2.0, leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the economic development goals of rural areas of Colorado. Blueprint 2.0 is a bottom-up effort to turn regional feedback on local economic needs into a statewide set of initiatives to advance the economies of rural communities.
"Blueprint 2.0 engages communities in a participatory planning and engagement process that provides our rural areas with resources and tools to thrive," said Meridith Marshall, senior regional economic development manager at OEDIT. "We are excited to be helping communities address everything from coworking and branding to entrepreneurship through the lens of economic development."
In 2017, 17 communities across the state benefited from Blueprint 2.0 initiatives focused on placemaking, branding, coworking, small business support, film production, outdoor recreation and tourism promotion. Past Blueprint 2.0 recipients have received technical assistance developing tourism assets, strategic business growth action plans and even a tiny home master plan.
The following eight initiatives will be offered in 2018:
Brand Building for Communities
Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism: CRAFT Studio 201
Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry
Certified Small Business Community
Film and Major Production Initiative
Creativity Lab of Colorado
Launch a Sector Partnership
Communities interested in a Blueprint 2.0 initiative are encouraged to learn more and apply online at choosecolorado.com/blueprint. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue.
Blueprint 2.0 applications are due on June 1, 2018 and winning communities will be announced in early July.