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RBC I Owning a small business can be challenging as well as rewarding, and a Small Business Development Center is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs seeking assistance with their existing business needs or individuals or partners with concerns ranging from business start-up to and including expansion.
Rio Blanco County, the Meeker Chamber of Commerce and the Rangely Chamber of Commerce are combining efforts to develop Rio Blanco County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) satellite offices to serve Northwestern Colorado.
Meeker Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stephanie Kobald said that Rio Blanco County has allocated $10,000 to expand the SBDC presence in the county through satellite offices located in Meeker and Rangely.
The SBDC offers training programs, access to resources and confidential one-on-one counseling services, and experienced counselors work with individuals or management to identify problem areas and form solutions over a full range of business matters including: start-up assistance, marketing research, actual marketing, management, business planning and, most important for some, financing.
Working with the Business Incubator Center (BIC) in Grand Junction, the Meeker and Rangely chambers will begin the program by providing four workshops and one-on-one business consultation to area businesses as well as individuals and groups looking to start up a new business.
Two workshops will be offered in Rangely and two in Meeker, covering business topics chosen by the business community, Kobald said.
The first workshop, “Bookkeeping Bootcamp” was held March 18 in Rangely. A number of businesses took advantage of the event, she said, adding that many residents have registered to continue receiving one-on-one assistance through consultation with a certified business coach, she said.
Kobald said the local consultants will likely be chosen from within the communities and be trained by the SBDC to fill the position. She added that the actual private satellite offices will be located away from the chamber offices, possibly at the Fairfield Center in Meeker and at an unknown location in Rangely.
“We can train anyone who wants to do the consulting,” Kobald said. “As chamber executive directors, we (Kobald and Rangely chamber executive director Kristin Steele) likely won’t be the ones doing the consulting unless we take the training; we likely will bring someone in to do the job after they are trained. Kristin may be interested in doing that.”
Certified business coaches provide confidential one-on-one free assistance to meet marketing, management, social media, taxes and more.
Entrepreneurs and business owners will be able to sign up and register for the consultation at the Meeker or Rangely chamber offices.
With the closest Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction, the local satellite offices will allow the BIC’s valuable services to be more accessible to Meeker and Rangely business owners and entrepreneurs, she said.
“The SBDC and BIC are separate,” Kobald said. “However, we will be working with the BIC, which will help us provide a more-complete service. All of the consulting work will be done here. If someone wants to work completely with the BIC, then they would have to go to Grand Junction.”
Contact Kristen Steele at the Rangely Chamber of Commerce (970-675 5290) or Stephanie Kobald at the Meeker Chamber (970-878-5510) if interested in taking advantage of this great free business resource.