Doug’s number one priority is to improve Denver’s economy and create sustainable prosperity for the whole community. As Mayor, Doug will help businesses create jobs and connect Denver residents to those jobs. To strengthen Denver’s economy, Doug will make Denver a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship.
As a proven leader for the whole community, Doug has worked to improve the economic vitality of Denver neighborhoods and worked with business leaders and regional interests to enhance Denver’s place in the global economy. He has led efforts to create Mile High Holidays, the Business Assistance Center, Global Denver, Economic Prosperity Center, Bridges to Work, and Bank on Denver. As Mayor, he will continue and expand these and other efforts to create lasting prosperity for Denver residents and businesses.
Doug's Real Solutions to Support Business and Create Jobs
- Make Denver an incubator of innovation and entrepreneurship, creating partnerships among nonprofits, local colleges and universities and the business community. Use the economic gardening model pioneered by Littleton to provide assistance to entrepreneurs and home-based businesses through the Denver Public Library and its branches.
- Create a network of free assistance for entrepreneurs composed of attorneys, accountants, marketing experts, and other local professionals.
- Create a seed capital fund for business startups and small business expansions. Focus particularly on startups that provide “triple bottom line” benefits by helping the economy, sustainability and populations in need of assistance.
- Exempt businesses with only one employee from the head tax.
- Establish a Gap Financing Fund to provide businesses with small, short-term, low-interest loans to support jobs and help them cover payroll or other needs in times of crisis.
- Cut the red tape and uncertainty faced by businesses expanding or starting a new facility. Eliminate select permit and inspection requirements and make it easier to waive specific requirements, especially for rehabilitation of older buildings.
- Help existing businesses stay afloat by establishing a hotline for businesses with problems or questions.
- Make better use of the city’s loan funds and reduce the default rate for businesses and affordable housing complexes by providing technical assistance as a part of any new loan. This assistance would be provided through a partnership of city and private professionals.
- Maintain and strengthen downtown’s role as the city’s job center and help neighborhood business districts by strategically investing in infrastructure, anchor businesses, arts and culture and tourism.
- Implement regional strategies for workforce development, invest in infrastructure, target specific business sectors for growth, and enhance Denver's position in the global economy through partnerships with the state, metro-area mayors, Metropolitan Economic Development Corporation, and various Chambers of Commerce.
Doug's Real Solutions to Support Working Families and Create a Ready Workforce
- Partner with nonprofits and labor organizations to expand apprentice and job training programs to help connect people to good-paying jobs. For example, when FasTracks says it needs thousands of construction workers for several years, we need to make sure that local residents get those jobs.
- Establish Economic Prosperity Centers in different parts of the city to help people get better jobs, learn financial management, and start new businesses. Each of these centers will use partnerships with nonprofits to provide job readiness services, information on job training for particular jobs, financial education, and assistance for business startups.
- Reshape assistance programs at the Department of Human Services to remove the cliff effect, in which people lose benefits as they earn more money, and provide more one-time assistance to get people back on their feet.
- Expand the city’s partnerships with banks and other businesses, higher education, and nonprofit organizations to provide financial and career education and help people get access to no-cost accounts at financial institutions.
- Enhance job training and readiness programs for populations in need of extra attention, including the homeless, welfare recipients, people reentering the community from the Corrections system, people with disabilities, and the aging population by working with nonprofit groups, businesses, and higher education.
Doug's Real Solutions to Connect Young People to Jobs
- Work with Denver Public Schools to provide financial education to students as part of the standard curriculum or in after-school programs for all students.
- Expand the Bridges to Work program to increase job opportunities for young people year-round and create pathways from high school to college to a job. Use the Public Safety Cadet program as a model for encouraging students to stay in school and entering a job as a teacher, engineer, or other professional.
As a business economist for 14 years, including a year as the President of the Denver Association of Business Economists, Doug worked with venture capital companies, think tanks and international investors to foster economic development.
As a Councilman At-Large, Doug worked with the Mayor and two different Directors of Economic Development to sponsor regional economic forums called Jumpstart Denver and the Economic Prosperity Task Force to examine ways of improving economic opportunities for all Denver residents. Doug also served as President of the Colorado Municipal League and Chair of its Fiscal Policy Committee. Doug also accompanied business leaders on missions to Seattle, Phoenix, Montreal and China. Finally, Doug is Co-Chair of City Council’s Business, Workforce and Sustainability Committee and has served as an active member of the Homeless Commission and Affordable Housing Task Force.