For much of the last two decades, Colorado has been very highly ranked among U.S. states for being business friendly. This has been reflected in state-by-state rankings extolling Colorado’s relatively low tax rates, highly educated workforce, and high quality of life. These positive factors reinforced patterns that increased the size and scope of Colorado’s business community and workforce.
In 2023, however, the outlook has changed. On the one hand, there are certainly reasons to be optimistic about Colorado’s business environment as recent job and business formation data suggest that our economy has rebounded quickly from the pandemic and as is weathering the storm amidst the battle to lower inflation. CNBC recently ranked Colorado #4 on its list of Top States for Business for 2022. On the other hand, beneath these positive indications, there are signs that the direct and indirect costs of doing business in Colorado are beginning to threaten our state’s competitive edge.
Chairman and Host Earl Wright welcomes Loren Furman, President & CEO of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, and Lang Sias, CSI’s 2023 Mike A. Leprino Fellow. Together they discuss Colorado’s competitiveness, net migration, recent policy initiatives, trends and much more. If you care about the future of Colorado from a business perspective, this is a conversation you will not want to miss. You can read our full report on the issue here.
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Loren Furman was named President & CEO of the Colorado Chamber on January 1, 2022. Prior to becoming President, she served as the Chamber’s Senior Vice President of State & Federal Relations since 2008 and led the Chamber’s engagement on all State and Federal governmental issues that affect businesses statewide. In that role she was the primary spokesperson for the organization, and as a member of the leadership team, was actively involved in operational issues including hiring and communications strategies, membership, and strategic approaches for the organization.
Lang Sias is the 2023 is a former Colorado State legislator, attorney and Navy and Air National Guard fighter pilot. As a Colorado State Representative from 2015-2019, Lang represented House District 27 in Jefferson County. The ranking member on the business committee, Lang also served on the education, public health and health exchange oversight committees, and was a member of the legislative tax simplification task force and the JeffCo school safety task force. Over 85% of the bills Lang sponsored were bipartisan. He focused on solving problems in the areas of education, health care and small business, and on government transparency and accountability. He played major roles in passing legislation expanding public school choice, increasing healthcare transparency and reforming the public pension system to benefit retirees and taxpayers. Lang currently serves on the legislative subcommittee that oversees Colorado’s state pension fund. He was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2018 and State Treasurer in 2022.