Registration open for the 3rd Annual Jefferson County Business Resource Expo

Help us kick-off Small Business Resource Week in Jeffco! Join us for libations, great networking and most importantly an opportunity to meet and learn about the many resources available to business owners in Jefferson County – all dedicated to helping you succeed!

Date: Monday, September 18, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Jefferson County Fairgrounds – 15200 W. 6th Avenue, Ste. A., Golden, CO 80401

FREE Attendance for all Jefferson County business owners with invitation or advanced registration. Invitation or advanced registration required. Sponsorships are still available.

Register NOW >>>

September Speaker Penny Brenden

Topic: “Wheat-in Go” Networking with Pizza in the Park

Speaker: Penny Brenden

Attendees will:
  • Create and deliver a short attention getting biz intro
  • Meet prospects through networking BINGO (Wheat-in-GO)
  • Be encouraged to bring a prospect to “schooze.” Buffet guest price applies.
  • Have a chance to win “Wheat-In-Go” prizes plus other giveaways

My name is Penny Brenden and people call me the Networking Queen.
I have done many things in my career from being an outside sales representative to managing a restaurant of 60 employees. I am a member of many organizations in Denver and have served on several leadership positions throughout my affiliations.
I am well connected in the Denver area and am very excited about sharing The Connecting Experts and my many years of knowledge in networking with you. I look forward to taking your businesses to the next level!
I am a true believer that when you do something that makes you uncomfortable every single day, you can grow leaps and bounds, and that’s when the magic happens!


RSVP for this meeting >>

Feed the Future 5k Race

Race date is September 9th, 2017 @ 9AM, and registration will open August 1st, 2017 Be part of this 5k and 100% of your registration fees go to the Wheat Ridge Feed the Future program, providing meals to kids on weekends, who depend on free and reduced lunches during the school week.
Great way to spend a little time on a Saturday morning with the family and donate to an important cause at the same time.

Event Date: September 9, 2017
Starts at: 9 am, Ends at: noon
For more information and to register, visit:

JCBL Update – March

JCBL Legislative Update: Bi-Partisan Transportation Compromise Emerges

By Jeff Weist
Jefferson County Business Lobby

The Jefferson County Business Lobby and [NAME OF JCBL MEMBER] have made ending the state’s transportation funding crisis one of our top priorities in the Colorado Legislature for 2017.  With this legislative session half over, major progress toward that goal was made recently with the introduction of a large, bi-partisan funding plan.

The plan (HB17-1242) – which the JCBL is supporting – is centered on a 20-year increase in the state sales tax (from 2.9% to 3.52%).  A portion of that new revenue would be used to service $3.5 billion in bonds to immediately address the state’s most pressing transportation needs. But roughly $300 million in revenue from the sales tax increase would go to local governments and transit projects annually.

In order to garner Republican support of a tax increase, however, the bill also requires the state general fund to pay for the first $50 million in annual bond payments, something the Democrats have traditionally resisted. And the bill also cuts registration fees by $75 million to help offset some of the sales tax hike.

While the compromise is the result of many months of negotiations between the two parties – each of whom control a chamber in the legislature – this is far from a done deal. Most importantly, the plan must be approved by the voters in the November, 2017, election, and Colorado voters have a long history of defeating tax increases.

But before it can even get to the voters this Fall, it must survive the legislative process, where opponents on both the left and right are emerging. Some conservatives oppose a tax increase for transportation – at least one that is not fully offset by tax or spending cuts elsewhere. Meanwhile, some transit advocates aren’t pleased with the amount of new funding that is dedicated to transit and mobility projects.

Labeled “work in progress” on the day of its introduction, HB1242 will likely see changes before it is referred to voters for approval.  The JCBL believes, however, that this bill represents the best chance in a at least a decade to make real progress on fixing Colorado’s increasingly congested and deteriorating road and highway system.

In other legislative news, three bills supported by the JCBL advanced in committee after testimony from JCBL witnesses, including a key construction litigation reform bill (SB156), an extension of an economic development tax credit for advanced industries (HB1090) and an extension of a tax credit for child care expenses which helps working families stay in the workforce (HB1002).


Please go to to see all of the bills the JCBL is lobbying at the Colorado State Capitol and to sign up for news updates on bills important to the Jefferson County business community.

Jeff Weist can be contacted at

JCBL Update – February

JCBL Legislative Update: Transportation and Housing Costs Dominate Talks Under the Golden Dome

 By Jeff Weist

Jefferson County Business Lobby

The Wheat Ridge Business Association and the Jefferson County Business Lobby agree the Colorado Legislature’s top priorities for the 2017 legislative session should be fixing the state’s transportation funding crisis and the construction litigation abuses that have contributed to a lack of affordable housing options. And, in fact, those two topics have dominated discussions at the highest levels of leadership in both the Democrat-controlled State House of Representatives and the Republican State Senate.

Colorado’s frenetic growth has lead to record unmet transportation needs as congestion worsens and maintenance lags behind. Colorado is one of the few states not spending general funds on roads, instead relying almost exclusively on declining state and federal gas tax revenues. One emerging proposal with a chance for bi-partisan support would dedicate an increase in the state’s sales tax to transportation. Some portion of the increased sales tax revenue could be used to issue bonds to front-load construction spending in the near term. But a number of contentious issues still need to be worked out. How much of the additional revenue should be dedicated to transit versus pavement? Will the gas tax be reduced to mitigate some of the impact of increasing the sales tax? Will the voters even approve such tax increase? Those and other issues have yet to be resolved and could scuttle any potential deal.

Another impact of Colorado’s strong growth is quickly rising home prices. While affordable condos and other multi-family housing units often provide a more attainable option for many, very few such units have been built in Colorado over the last decade because of out-of-control lawsuits against developers and contractors. As a result, insurance for such projects are often unaffordable or even unavailable. A number of bills – some with bi-partisan support – have been floated. Some attempt to speed the resolution of such lawsuits through arbitration, while another seeks to reduce contractor insurance rates by streamlining the costly defense process in a lawsuit. The only thing clear at this point is that no one bill will solve this very complicated problem.  But the legislature does have a chance to take a few small steps forward in 2017.

Jeff Weist can be contacted at

JCBL Legislative Update – January

Bipartisan agreement on problems, but not necessarily on solutions

 By Jeff Weist

Jefferson County Business Lobby

The Wheat Ridge Business Association is an active member of the Jefferson County Business Lobby, the unified voice of 3,000 Jefferson County businesses advocating for public policies that strengthen our economy. We wanted to give you a preview of some of the business issues on which the JCBL is engaging at the State Capitol in Denver as the 2017 Colorado General Assembly gets underway.

The dynamics of the Legislature will, for the third year in a row, be dominated by split partisan control.  Democrats retained control the State House of Representatives while the Republicans hang onto their slim one seat majority in the State Senate. Split control means both parties have to work together to accomplish anything of significance.

Remarkable agreement exists between the Democrats and Republicans on the major problems facing the state – such as inadequate transportation funding and escalating housing costs – but finding agreement on the solutions to such problems have been elusive.

The JCBL’s priorities for the coming year include:

New Transportation Funding: Colorado is one of the few states in the nation not dedicating state General Fund dollars to transportation infrastructure. The Colorado Legislature must find new sources of transportation funding for the short, medium and long-terms.

Attracting and Retaining Skilled Employees: The shortage of skilled employees in Jefferson County and around the State is actually becoming a drag on economic growth. Colorado needs better training for skilled employees. And we need to fix the broken litigation system that is preventing the construction of new, affordable, housing.

Fostering a Strong, Competitive Business Climate: While Jefferson County’s economy is strong today, the Legislature must provide effective economic development incentives, lower regulatory burdens and reduce lawsuits if we are to withstand future downturns.

We will keep you updated on the Legislature’s progress on these important business issues through out the 2017 legislative session.

Jeff Weist can be contacted at

Congratulations to Member of the Year and Rising Star Award Winners 2016!

Bud Starker, the owner and Robert Cherenzia, General Manager of West 29th Restaurant ~ Bar Accepting the Business of the Year Award

Bud Starker, the owner and Robert Cherenzia, General Manager of West 29th Restaurant ~ Bar Accepting the Business of the Year Award

City of Wheat Ridge held the 13th Annual Business Award Breakfast on Tuesday, September 27. Wheat Ridge Business Association (WRBA) co-sponsored the event and many remarkable businesses were recognized in it. Among them, WRBA awarded the “Member of the Year Award” to Bud Starker of West 29th Restaurant ~Bar and the “Rising Star Award” to Mike Larkin of Larkin And Associates. Congratulations to the winners and thank you for your involvement in our business community.

Other Award Winners and Nominees are:

Cultural Commission Award – Blu Iron Photography
Nominees – Clancy’s Irish Pub, Four Seasons Farmers & Artisans Market

City Council’s Partnership Award – Wheat Ridge Active Transportation & Advisory Team

Mayor’s Award – Kevin Robb Studios

Reinvestment Award – Creative Learning Center & hOMe Collective
Nominees – Lutheran Medical Center, Morningstar Assisted Living, Pierogies Factory, Wazee Partners

Business of the Year – Lil Nick’s & West 29 Restaurant ~ Bar
Nominees – Colorado Plus, Comcast of Wheat Ridge, Discount Tires, EduCyber, FirstBank of Wheat Ridge, Harriet’s Treadle Arts, Heinie’s Market, Iron Rail Tavern, Mama Sanninos, Mighty Joe’s Kitchen, Right Coast Pizza, Sprouts Farmers Market, Vinyl Works, Vitruvian Fitness, Westridge Veterinary Hospital, Wheat Ridge poultry, Young’s Market


Business Community of Wheat Ridge filled the great room at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center

Business Community of Wheat Ridge filled the great room at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center