Larimer SBDC Director
2016 was a breakout year for the Larimer SBDC in terms of strategic partner relationships, consulting and economic impact metrics, and local awareness of our center.
Early 2016 saw us coordinating and integrating with the restructured Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC).We are now working seamlessly together, with the SBDC acting as a key “content provider” to the LBDC. The LBDC team has worked very hard, and brought a lot of value to the Loveland small business community. During 2016, we added consulting availability in Berthoud and Wellington, so that entrepreneurs can access SBDC services at any municipality in Larimer County.
In November, we worked with the East Colorado SBDC and the Colorado SBDC lead center to execute the inaugural Northern Colorado Women’s Small Business Conference, held at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, which was a huge success with over 350 attendees. We also continue to manage the “Recovery Colorado” disaster recovery program, with the support of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation. This grant program has provided over $2.3M to 59 Estes Valley small businesses.
Almost all of our 2016 metrics are record high numbers for our center. We consulted with 640 clients over nearly 3,500 consulting hours, more than double our 2013 client count, and almost triple our 2013 consulting hours. We also conducted 100 trainings/workshops, attended by over 1,000 entrepreneurs.
The plan for 2017 is to ” .. do it the same, but better .. “. We will be strongly promoting three of our higher-end programs to support growing existing businesses. We will support the Fort Collins and Loveland Start Up weeks in February and April. We will again execute the Women’s Small Business Conference in November 2017. Most importantly, 2017 marks the 30th year that Front Range Community College (FRCC) has hosted and significantly sponsored the North Metro Denver and Larimer SBDC centers, and we will be conducting a major campaign throughout 2017 to say a huge “Thank You” to FRCC for their support of Northern Colorado entrepreneurs.
We have a great well-connected team that makes it all of the above happen. Terri Donovan-Keirns manages the hundreds of consulting sessions and numerous classes with exceptional competence and thoroughness. Our administrator and FRCC graduate Kat Rico has really enhanced the “face” of both the North Metro Denver and Larimer through her marketing and social media skills. Our consulting network is strong, committed, and engaged, and the best its ever been, in my opinion. I also have the privilege of being the Co-Chair of the Larimer County Workforce Development Board (WDB) this year, which supports the critical and extensive work done by the Larimer County Workforce Center.
2016 was a rewarding year, and I look forward to working with all of you in 2017!
Larimer SBDC Director
Read the Full Larimer SBDC 2016 Annual Report