Governor Polis stops by Apple Valley Cider Co. in Penrose to talk about what the state is doing to save Colorans money – Canon City Daily Record

PENROSE — Gov. Jared Polis made a pit stop in Penrose on Friday to discuss what the state is doing to save money in Colorados and also to sample locally produced hard cider from Kevin Williams.

Polis started the day in Pueblo where he signed a number of bills, then stopped at Apple Valley Cider Co. where he met Williams. After that he made the trip to Westcliffe where he signed HB22-1382: Support Dark Sky Designation And Promotion In Colorado.

“How are things going this year? Polis asked Williams while enjoying a Prickly Pear cider.

“So far so good,” Williams said. “We survived COVID and can’t wait to get back to it.”

Williams started her business in January 2018, but then state law changed in 2019 to allow grocery stores to sell full-strength beer. This drew customers from the smaller liquor stores where Apple Valley Cider was offered at grocery stores, hurting its sales.

Then in 2020, COVD-19 hit.

“2021 hasn’t been better,” Williams said. “We have a bad luck streak, but we made it through.”

While Polis visited several small business owners across the state, he said some have rebounded from the pandemic, but others have not.

In an effort to help business people, the state is reducing commercial property taxes for the next two years.

Earlier this month, Polis signed bills that will reduce property taxes for residential and commercial properties in 2023 and 2024.

“Commercial retail stores and commercial offices are paying a lot more because they’ve grown over the last two decades,” Polis said. “This is the first commercial property tax reduction in 40 years.”

He also talked about having a stronger statewide economy, ensuring Colorado is a statewide success story.

“That includes rural, urban, suburban areas — and small businesses like this really are the backbone of our economy,” Polis said.

He said every Coloradan will receive at least a $500 tax refund this summer, which will also help retail businesses.

“Some people will save for retirement, but many people will be able to take advantage and spend money in our local economy,” Polis said. “So we’re really excited to release it at the end of the summer.”

Unemployment is low, with more jobs available now than before the pandemic, and demand is strong across Colorado.

“Everybody’s biggest concern in the state is rising costs,” Polis said. “That’s why we’re focused on saving business money, saving people money with the property tax cut, tax refund and state park pass a reduced from $84 to $29 per year for a family.”

In the next state fiscal year, people starting a business will not have to pay the incorporation fee. This is an effort to help new business owners, like Williams.

Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program, Apple Valley Cider Co. and other similar businesses have been able to stay afloat during the pandemic. Now the company is looking forward to many novelties.

Apple Valley Cider Co. is beginning to offer its product in cans, rather than glass bottles, which will soon be available in the Denver metro area. Williams’ current service area is within 50 miles, including Fremont County, Monument, Pueblo, Woodland Park and Westcliffe.

On tap, a new flavor, blueberry-lemon, will be available in the coming weeks.

Williams has won numerous awards for its hard cider, including the Great Lakes International Cider Competition, Colorado Governor’s Cup, Denver International Beer Competition, Colorado State Fair, and US Open Cider Championship.

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