Hickenlooper to visit Glenwood Springs Sunday | PostIndependent.com

Hickenlooper to visit Glenwood Springs Sunday

Associated Press Writer

LOUISVILLE – Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper set out Saturday on a bus tour of the state to court votes during the final days of the campaign, and Denver’s mayor got an earful about what it takes to run a small business in Colorado. He will stop by Glenwood Springs today.

Justin Gold, owner of Justin’s Nut Butter in Louisville, told Hickenlooper it was tough starting a new business, and it took three years for it to become profitable. Gold also told Hickenlooper that Colorado’s user tax was hurting his business, forcing him to keep track of free samples and pay taxes on packets of nut butter he was giving away.

Hickenlooper said he had the same issue when he ran a brew pub in Denver and was forced to track meals for his employees and record it as income. He also needed to hire quality control monitors. Hickenlooper solved the problem by giving his workers quality control inspection duties.

Gold lit up, saying that could work for him.

Problem solved.

Hickenlooper is heading west over the next five days to visit rural areas on the Western Slope and in southern Colorado, where he’s gathering suggestions on ways to make government run more efficiently.

“The message that we’ve taken to urban and rural areas isn’t that different. In both cases, what you need is jobs,” he said.

Hickenlooper said a $100 million federal grant to bring high-speed Internet to every school district will allow small companies to set up shop in small communities and bring more jobs.

He also wants to streamline government and ensure that state regulations are necessary, while still protecting the environment and communities.

“The point of regulation is to make sure that the appetite for capitalism doesn’t, on occasion, damage some communities. What’s appropriate is to have the appropriate regulation,” Hickenlooper said.

He told Gold that one of his pet peeves while running a restaurant was having different inspectors raising different issues each time they visited. Three violations over five years and the restaurant was publicly humiliated with a red tag.

Hickenlooper started the tour Saturday in Denver’s Civic Center Park and voted early before starting on the five-day bus tour of the state.

American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo is also going to the Western Slope next week to court tea party supporters, while Republican Dan Maes will campaign locally attacking Hickenlooper’s record of supporting higher taxes as Denver mayor.

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