Denver's Voice of the Middle Market

The Denver metro is home to some of the most innovative middle-market businesses, with brand names recognizable across the U.S. and around the globe. Companies like Otterbox®, Noodles & Company®, and CrocsTM make significant contributions to the regional and national economy. Many others are little known to the public and are links in the global supply chain. Together, more than 1,400 mid-sized firms in Denver generate $76 billion in annual revenues and employ nearly 600,000 workers.

Colorado business leaders, politicians, and middle-market professionals met after Labor Day to discuss middle market business issues and job growth at the University of Colorado (CU) Denver Business School. Nationwide, the middle market is projected to create 59 percent of all new jobs in 2014.

One of the keynote speakers at the event was U.S. Representative Jared Polis, co-chair of the new House Congressional Caucus for Middle Market Growth, and the event was a continuation of this important initiative. Congressman Polis shared that the goal of the Caucus was to promote the value of the middle market and to foster policies that the sector needs to continue this strong growth.

Tom Stewart, Executive Director for the National Center for the Middle Market, highlighted that middle market companies in the West outpace revenue and employment growth nationally — generating revenues at 7.2 percent (vs. 6.6 percent) and creating jobs at 3.3 percent (vs. 3.2 percent) respectively — despite lagging confidence in the global and national economy.

Gary LaBranche, President for the Association for Corporate Growth, emphasized the importance of private capital to accelerating middle market growth. In fact, according to the ACG publication Driving Growth, private capital backed companies grew jobs by 405 percent compared to all other businesses in the Denver area.

Jim Kaufman, Managing Member of Mogul Advisors, founded and sold several middle market companies and now advises mid-sized firms on major issues about the future of business. His discussion, which highlighted ongoing considerations for mid-market executives to farm, grow or sell their businesses, encouraged executives to make these assessment a regular part of their business practice, and to seek advice from independent advisors to get an objective perspective.

The event was held at the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship and featured comments from Sueann Ambron, Dean of the CU Denver Business School, and Madhavan Parthasarathy, Director, Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship.

To learn more about the Congressional Caucus for Middle Market Growth, click here.


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