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Primary Employers

Primary Employers

Boulder is home to a diverse group of companies and a vibrant start-up community. With industries ranging from natural and organic products, clean tech, biotech, and high tech to aerospace and federal laboratories, Boulder’s primary employers have created a center of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Primary employers, defined as companies that generate the majority of revenues from outside Boulder County, make up the core of Boulder’s economy.  These companies bring in “new money” to the Boulder economy and support secondary employers such as restaurants and retailers.

One way that the City of Boulder builds relationships with these companies is through visits by the Business Outreach Team, a public-private partnership. The city conducted the Primary Employer Study in 2012 to better understand the challenges and needs of Boulder’s primary employers.

The study shows:

  • Approximately 554 primary employers
  • Estimated 26,059 primary workers
  • 84 percent of primary employers have between 5 and 50 employees
  • 1,832 total commercial buildings in Boulder

As a result of this study, the City produced the Economic Sustainability Strategy pdf, a document that lays out how the city can best support a healthy and adaptable economy that enhances Boulder’s economic, social and environmental sustainability goals.

“For an active, fast-growing, high-end innovative gear company like ours, Boulder is one of the few places that can meet the demands of our business.  To name a few things, we require top talent, a supportive business environment, geography to play with and test our gear, and good access to international transportation – And Boulder provides that for us.”
                                                      -- Chris Sword, President of Salewa North America