In Lakewood, small business is the backbone of city's economy. We value our businesses and want to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed. Whether you’re looking to start your business, ways to grow your business, find a new employee or do business with the city of Lakewood, our resources are designed to meet the needs of small, locally-owned businesses and primary employers.
Ask Yourself a Few Questions
Create a Business Plan
- Marketing Plan
- Insurance requirements
Visit with Free Resources
Find an Appropriate Location
Apply for a Lakewood Sales and/or Use Tax License
Obtain All Other Required Licenses and Permits
Promote Your Business or Grand Opening for Free
Network and Become Active in the Community
Lakewood Economic Development can help you expand or relocate your business in Lakewood. This includes finding a suitable location, assisting with tenant finish or build out plans, community involvement and more. We can find a site that is zoned correctly with the parking, location and traffic that you are looking for.
We can also let you know history about the site to include previous uses, flood plain, Enterprise Zone and Urban Renewal designation.
We have just the space you are looking for and have a wide variety of office, retail industrial/flex space and vacant sites.
Looking for a new or larger location? Lakewood's Economic Development Division can do a search for you based on site-specific criteria such as
- Lot size
- Building square footage
- Traffic counts
We can provide history to the site and the surrounding area, as well as help market your available property as a location for a future project.
Lakewood Economic Development can help you sort through the licensing process on the city, county and state level. While our office doesn’t issue any of the licenses, we can work with you to determine which licenses you need and which entity you get them from.
Please reference the city’s Licenses and Permits page to get started.
Lakewood’s Economic Development Division offers guidance about loans, capital or financing that may be right for your business.
Additionally, the City and County of Denver has compiled a comprehensive Capital Matrix of most known funding sources for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Micro and Small Business Loans Up to $250,000
ACCION is an award-winning nonprofit organization that invests in the community by increasing access to business credit, making loans and providing training to help emerging and existing entrepreneurs.
The Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute is a nonprofit microfinance organization that combines business development services and microloans to help entrepreneurs build businesses as a means of becoming economically self-sufficient.
Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a nonprofit community development financial institution founded in 1976 to help small businesses. The Fund provides small business loans up to $150,000 to entrepreneurs unable to obtain financing from traditional sources. CEF offers access to management consulting and business training.
The Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade’s Business Finance Division brings together several financing tools, including debt and equity financing, cash incentives, grants and tax credits, to support economic development activities that improve and support employment opportunities in Colorado. Visit the Business Finance section of their website.
Many of these alternative lenders have compiled advice and best practices in one convenient website. Visit www.smallbizlending.org to learn more.
Larger Loans Over $250,000
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is a state program designed to create affordable housing, business and economic growth opportunities for Colorado residents. CHFA's QIC program provides fixed-rate financing for small business loans guaranteed by the SBA. Loans may be used for working capital, equipment purchases, business expansions and real estate acquisitions. The ACCESS program provides financing for fixed assets with a first mortgage funded as part of an SBA 504 loan package.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs for specific purposes. Ask your business bank about the SBA loans they currently provide.
Lakewood’s Economic Development Division recognizes that employees are one of your largest expenses and one of the most critical pieces to making your business successful. From entry-level to experienced professionals, it’s important to find candidates that fit well into your company.
We encourage you to visit with the Jefferson County Business and Workforce Center as they promote economic vitality by identifying, developing and matching a talented workforce to business. Their Business Services Team can help you recruit and train new employees, saving you time and money.
Business services include:
• Job listings
• Customized hiring events
• Pre-screening of candidates
• On-the-Job Training (OJT) program
• Career readiness certificates and individual assessments
• Labor market information, tax incentives and business research
Jefferson County Business and Workforce Center
Jefferson County Public Schools
Red Rocks Community College
We understand that networking and community engagement are vital parts to your business success. Lakewood Economic Development can direct you to the community organizations and networking opportunities that align with your business and specific needs. We work closely with our strategic partners and different organizations to make sure there is a networking opportunity for everyone.
Networking opportunities include:
West Colfax Community Association
South Lakewood Business Association
Union Corridor Professionals
Applewood Business Association
The West Metro Chamber
Women Who Startup - Jeffco Basecamp
Lakewood city codes are intentionally home-based-business friendly. All residential zoning in Lakewood allows for home occupations as an accessory or special use, as long as the business follows the reasonable rules and regulations found in the Lakewood zoning code. Rules include not creating disturbances for your neighbors and not exceeding more than 25% of the square footage of your home.
All home-based businesses, including service businesses, require a Sales or Use Tax License. You can apply for your license online.
The Small Business Development Center is supported by the SBA and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. This group of business consultants has impressive credentials from varied experiences of owning and operating businesses. The center offers low-cost seminars and classes to help you learn skills in business management, accounting and financial growth, and sales and marketing tactics. These seminars and courses provide you with valuable networking opportunities and teaching you to make your business grow.
The Jefferson County Business Resource Centeris supported by the City of Lakewood, Jefferson County, and many of the other municipalities in our county. The JCBRC provides access to resources and comprehensive services at no cost or low cost for start-ups and established businesses in the county.
SCORE Denver - Counselors to America’s Small Business - is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs seeking to start their own business. SCORE Denver also offers assistance to already established small businesses by providing individual free counseling, cost effective seminars, in-depth business checkups and many other business-related services.
The Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute(RMMFI) is a nonprofit organization that provides learning, lending and coaching to grow community entrepreneurs who build businesses that lead to self-sufficiency. RMMFI’s brand of microfinance combines affordable, approachable business support services and flexible microloans to help individuals transform a good idea into an income-generating business.