New SBDC Program to Designate Rural Areas as Certified Small Business Communities

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Application Process Now Open for New Program Aimed to Encourage Entrepreneurship

Denver – May 3, 2017 – The Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network announced today they are now accepting applications for the new Certified Small Business Community program – an initiative designed to assist rural communities with recruitment of entrepreneurs to further develop and diversify their local economy. Applications are due July 1.

“Entrepreneurs can be the driving force in a local economy, especially ones that have been hit by large company closures and relocations,” said Kelly Manning, Colorado SBDC Network Director. “Entrepreneurs create jobs, invest in infrastructure and assist communities in competing in a regional, national and global economy.”

The Certified Small Business Community program is a Colorado SBDC Network initiative that will assist rural communities with up to $10,000 in coaching, mentoring and technical assistance to create an action plan for recruitment and retention of entrepreneurs. Additionally, communities will receive up to $30,000 to complete items in their action plan, which may include creating a SBDC or satellite office in the community, creating co-working spaces or other projects deemed as a priority by the community that promote entrepreneurship.

Selected communities may also receive highway signage designed and installed with assistance from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

“By the end of the program, selected communities will have developed a clear strategic growth plan and action plan to diversify its local/regional economy through the promotion of entrepreneurship,” said Manning. “The designation as a Certified Small Business Community will allow the recipients to promote their community as a great place to “Work, Live and Play” in Colorado.”

Applicants can be a single town or city, several towns or communities working together or a county. Interested communities must demonstrate a defined sense of place or niche that sets them apart, have a concentration of entrepreneurship, a high level of community engagement and support of small businesses, and the ability to execute the plan.

Interested communities are encouraged to contact OEDIT to discuss project eligibility prior to applying. The application is available online here. Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted to OEDIT by July 1.  Award decisions will be made by August 1.

Questions about the program or application process should be directed to Christine Hoffman at (720)391-8865 or christine.hoffman@state.co.us. Download a program information here.

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (303) 892-3840 oedit.info@state.co.us
Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (303) 892-3840 oedit.info@state.co.us
Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (303) 892-3840 oedit.info@state.co.us
Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (303) 892-3840 oedit.info@state.co.us