Exports sustain small, mid-size Colorado companies

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Small and mid-sized businesses in Colorado are fueling the state’s export industry.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development reports that 3,837 state companies exported during 2005. Of those, 3,374, or 88 percent, were small and mid-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.

They generated close to one-quarter of Colorado’s total annual exports of merchandise according to the International Trade Administration and the Bureau of the Census, Foreign Trade Division: Exporter Database.

During 2005, foreign-controlled companies employed 72,200 Colorado workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Colorado during 2005 included the United Kingdom, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

About one-fifth (20 percent or 14,600 workers) of these employees were in the manufacturing sector in 2005.

Nearly one of every 10 manufacturing workers (9.6 percent) in Colorado was employed by foreign-controlled companies in 2005.

Foreign investment in Colorado was responsible for 3.7 percent of the state’s total private-industry employment in 2005.