Local organizations bring business services and programs to San Miguel County

Business Development

Words by Nichole Zangara / Business Development

There is a lot that goes into starting, developing, and growing a business in rural San Miguel County, so local organizations offer a number of programs and services to help with this endeavor. To learn more about these programs and services and how to gain access to them, the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride, West Central Region 10 Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Region 10, and Telluride Venture Accelerator (TVA) are hosting Business at Elevation. This free event will be held in Mountain Village Town Hall at 10 a.m. June 22 and will cover topics such as free small business consulting, small business loans, and Enterprise Zone tax credits.

“Mountain Village is committed to current and aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs by playing a support role in fostering a strong business community. One way to show the town’s support is to bring tangible programming and services to San Miguel County,” said Nichole Zangara Riley, director of marketing and business development for Mountain Village. “Business at Elevation is an event that is inclusive of anyone who wants to engage the business community and be part of its fabric. It is also important to note that the discussion on June 22 isn’t a one-way street, but rather a two-way conversation as the information presented by Region 10 and the SBDC is important but what is more important is to hear from attendees so Mountain Village and others can provide services and programs that have value to the business community.”

Business at Elevation will stream live at townofmountainvillage.com/video. Light fare and drinks will be served.
New SBDC Satellite Office | Small Business Consulting Services

Due to an increase in demand and support from local government and TVA, a satellite office has expanded to include San Miguel County and Ouray County. According to Region 10’s Small Business Resource Director Vince Fandel, the West Central SBDC program has been building slowly over the past year with robust programs in Montrose and Delta counties. After receiving requests from TVA and the Town of Mountain Village to expand its program to include San Miguel County, Fandel contacted the state’s SBDC office and the SBDC’s host, Western State Colorado University, requesting a full satellite expansion. The satellite office opened officially in March.

A popular and invaluable service offered by the SBDC is free access to one-on-one business consulting. According to Fandel, two consultants who live in the region were screened and are now certificated to serve the area’s small business owners and entrepreneurs. To access this service, San Miguel County business owners may register online and in turn will be paired with a consultant to discuss in confidential meetings an array of topics like business planning, feasibility analysis, valuation, accessing capital, financial reports and analysis, social media strategies and website development, access to capital, just to name a few. Fandel said that through the consultation process, business owners and entrepreneurs have access to a number of tools like a business health assessment using ProfitSense, which generates a report on the health of your business based on data such as tax returns. In an effort to better serve San Miguel County, the SBDC is also recruiting more business consultants who are interested in confidential, one-on-one consulting and have expertise in marketing and business plans, financials, e-commerce insight, and website analysis. Qualifications to become a consultant vary depending upon the individual’s expertise.

“With the start of TVA, more and more entrepreneurs and small businesses owners have emerged and requested access to mentors and advisors to help them grow their business,” explained TVA Director Thea Chase. “SBDC is a national resource that has provided this assistance for over 40 years, but until now service to our community was limited. We are excited to work with Region 10 and the towns to build a robust network of consultants to help our local business community and entrepreneurs start and grow successful companies in the region.”
Small Business Loan Program

Through the Small Business Resource Center, a division of Region 10, business owners may apply for a small business loan without the regulatory burdens that most banks work under and are funded through state and federal agencies. Per Region 10’s website, over the past 30 years the Business Loan Fund has assisted 250 local small businesses and non-profits with over $9 million in loans. Loans typically range from $5,000 to $250,000 with fixed rates and a maximum term of 10 years or less. Moreover, the Fund focuses on loans that create or retain jobs or that expand businesses needed in the growing regional economy. Accepted use of funds includes working capital, equipment, inventory and other supportable expenditures.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credits Program

A number of businesses fall within the Enterprise Zone. This includes any business located in incorporated and unincorporated areas in San Miguel County, excluding the Town of Telluride. According to Region 10, if one’s business is located within the Enterprise Zone, they can apply for tax credits. Tax credits include three percent investment tax credit, $1,100 new employee credit, $1,000 Employer Sponsored Health Insurance Tax Credit, and others. The program was created by Colorado legislature to promote a business-friendly environment in economically distressed areas by offering state income tax credits that incentivize businesses to locate and develop in communities. Taxpayers investing in Enterprise Zones can earn a credit on their Colorado income tax by planning and executing specific economic development activities. In addition, one could contribute to the Small Business Resource Center which would qualify for the Enterprise Zone tax credit since the Center is also an Enterprise Zone project.

To learn more about these services and programs, visit Region10.net.