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Longmont gains CHIPS Zone approval

Longmont is home to several existing semiconductor companies
The Longmont CHIPS Zone is made up of three non-contiguous areas in the western part of the city. Courtesy Longmont Economic Development Partnership

Longmont won a designation for a CHIPS Zone on Thursday by the Colorado Economic Development Commission and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. 

A CHIPS Zone is similar to an Enterprise Zone, which provides tax incentives for companies operating in economically distressed areas. The CHIPS Zone was created after President Joe Biden signed a law in 2022 that provided support for semiconductor research, development and manufacturing. 

“Semiconductors are the 21st century’s Space Race we must win,” Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper said in a prepared statement after Senate passage in 2022. “Relying on foreign-made semiconductors makes us vulnerable to higher prices and potentially being cut off. This bill will reinvigorate American manufacturing, lower costs, and create more good-paying jobs.”

Longmont is home to several existing semiconductor companies and has space for more. The new designation could lure new entrants into the field into Longmont.

The CHIPS Zone is broken into three parts in the western part of the city: one just southwest of the Vance Brand Airport, another is northwest of Ken Pratt Boulevard and west of Hover Street and the third is east of Hover just south of Pike Road. 

The Enterprise Zone and CHIPS Zone cannot overlap because each provides a similar benefit but are located near each other, according to Erin Fosdick, executive director of the Longmont Economic Development Partnership.

The areas identified in the CHIPS Zone have real estate available for growth in these areas. BIZWest reported that Longmont EDP is looking for more ways to spread the word about the CHIPS Zone to draw more semiconductor businesses to Longmont. 

Semiconductor companies make up more than 500 jobs and $200 million in annual sales in Longmont.


Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

Macie May has built her career in community journalism serving local Colorado communities since 2017.
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