Business Digest

What follows is a compilation of recent news reported online in the Northern Colorado Business Report and Boulder County Business Report. Find the full stories at or by using the search window at the top of the homepages.

Survey: Colo. business leaders still confident

BOULDER – The confidence of Colorado business leaders remains positive for the 10th consecutive quarter and has increased slightly going into the second quarter of 2014, according to the Leeds Business Confidence Index released by the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business. Expectations measured were positive for all the metrics measured by the index, which include the national economy, state economy, industry sales, industry profits, capital expenditures and hiring plans.

Posted April 1.

Vestas reaches deal for expanded credit

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (OMX: VWS) this week reached a new five-year revolving credit facility for a total of $1.38 billion. The facility was increased from the original total of $1.2 billion. The facility will provide a stable, long-term financing platform that adequately supports Vestas’ objective of profitable growth, Vestas said. Vestas operates factories in Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo.

Posted April 1.

Aircell expands service area into Canada

BROOMFIELD – Aircell, the Broomfield-based business aviation group of Gogo Inc. (Nasdaq: GOGO), has launched Gogo Biz in-flight Internet and voice service to business aircraft flying over the southern portion of Canada. The addition of coverage in Canada to its coverage in the United States is the largest single geographical expansion for Gogo Biz since the service was introduced to the business aviation market in 2009. The service allows Internet access above 10,000 feet, using Wi-Fi enabled laptops, tablets, smartphones, electronic flight bags and other mobile devices.

Posted April 1.

Boulder County farmers’ markets to open April 5

BOULDER – The Boulder County Farmers’ Markets in Boulder and Longmont will open their seasons at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 5. Farmers are expected to have fresh spinach, greenhouse lettuces, plant starts and locally produced lamb, chicken, beef and pork at the start of this season’s markets. The Boulder and Longmont markets are growers-only markets that support only local farmers, ranchers and food producers. The markets will have 15 new vendors this year. Boulder’s Farmers Market is located on 13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue in downtown Boulder. Longmont’s Farmers Market is held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds at 9595 Nelson Road in Longmont.

Posted April 1.

OtterBox settles with ex-employee

FORT COLLINS – OtterBox completed a settlement with a former employee who accused the Fort Collins-based cellphone case maker of underpaying federal import taxes on products it made in China, according to a status report issued by a U.S. District Court in Denver, Terms of the settlement between Otter Products LLC and former supply-chain director Bonnie Jimenez Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Jimenez, who worked in customs compliance at OtterBox, contended the company failed to pay customs duties on the full value of its cell-phone cases, violating the False Claims Act. Jimenez sued OtterBox in 2011.

Posted March 31.

Boulder Brands cleared for city incentives

BOULDER – Natural-products company Boulder Brands Inc. has been approved to receive up to $60,000 in rebates for sales and use taxes, and permit-related fees from the city of Boulder. Boulder’s city manager Jane S. Brautigam approved Boulder Brands (formerly Smart Balance Inc.), for the rebates, which is one of the city’s business incentives, covering a range of fees, equipment- and construction-use taxes. Under this program, the city manager may consider a specific incentive package for tax and fee rebates to meet a local company’s specific needs. The company is then eligible for the rebate after it has made its investment and paid the taxes or fees to the city.

Posted March 31.

IRS gives extension for flood-loss claims

Coloradans affected by the flooding in September have six extra months to claim damage costs on their federal income tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service gave taxpayers in Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties – along with 16 other Colorado counties affected by the flood – until Oct. 15 to decide when to claim flood damage. They otherwise would have had to decide by April 15 whether to claim the losses on their 2013 or 2012 federal tax returns – a decision driven by the amount of tax savings they might receive. Those who miss the October deadline will still be permitted to claim flood-damage losses on their 2013 returns, but not their 2012 forms.

Posted March 27.

Estes Park businesses get $592K from flood fund

ESTES PARK – Twenty small businesses in Estes Park and Big Thompson Canyon will receive $592,981 in grants to assist with recovery from the September floods. The funds will be distributed from the United Way of Larimer County’s Small Business Recovery Fund. This marks the second round of grants awarded through the fund. Small businesses affected by the flood still are encouraged to apply for the third round of grant funding. The application deadline for the third round is the close of business Friday, April 11.

Posted March 26.

Study: State frack ban would cost GDP, jobs

BOULDER – A statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing would trim 93,000 jobs, $12 billion in lost gross domestic product and annual reduction of $985 million in tax revenue for local and state governments over 25 years, according to a new study from the University of Colorado. The 33-page study was done by researchers at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business on behalf of a partnership between the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Denver South Economic Development Partnership and Commonsense Policy Roundtable, a nonprofit free-enterprise think tank that has a seven-member advisory board with three members who work in the oil and gas industry, according to its website.

Posted March 26.

Brewer plans summer opening in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE – If all goes as planned, Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co. will become Lafayette’s fourth new craft brewery in a little more than a year when it opens in late summer. The brewery’s founders have quietly been building out their 3,200-square-foot space in the Village at Lafayette shopping center at the southwest corner of U.S. Highway 287 and Baseline Road. But they’d been waiting to formally announce their plans until they finalized financing and notified their current employers they’d be
Posted March 25.

FoCo, Boulder firms register to grew hemp

FORT COLLINS – Several companies in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley have registered to grow hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant that can be refined into textiles, biofuel, paper and other products. Producers began registering with the state earlier this month to grow hemp.

Posted March 21.

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