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January 5, 2013
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Small biz center opens headquarters in Dillon

The Northwest Small Business Development Center opened its regional headquarters in Dillon on Jan. 1. The center, a nonprofit that receives funding from both the state and Colorado Mountain College, offers one-on-one consulting for local entrepreneurs.

Though the center also has offices in Glenwood Springs, Craig, Leadville, Steamboat Springs, Edwards and Breckenridge, where clients receive their consultation is flexible and could include anything from their place of business to a coffee shop, said Lindsey Shorthouse, the center's regional coordinator.

From a landscape company wanting to diversify its offerings to a designer of handmade leather goods looking to open an online store, the nonprofit group offers assistance to a diverse group of businesses, Shorthouse said.

In addition to individual consulting, the center is also hoping to beef up its training program, which would involve classes that are open to the public. Recently, the Summit Association of Realtors has signed on as sponsor to offer its membership business courses specific to real estate in the High County.

The Northwest center receives $25,000 in state funding for consultants, who are paid $35 a hour to offer free advice to business owners. Colorado Mountain College has also donated $10,000 to the nonprofit, in addition to providing free office space at its campus at the corner of Fiedler and Main streets in Dillon.

David Askeland, the interim vice president of Colorado Mountain College, said in a written statement that the program "is a natural fit for multiple groups to partner and advance economic growth in our communities.

"We see this as a great platform for many businesses to gain more educational experiences," he said.

The Colorado Small Business Development Center program began in 1992 and includes 18 other regions in the state. The Northwest center encompasses the largest geographical area among the other regions.

"We're here to really create impact in our economic growth and that impact is measurable," Shorthouse said. "We measure that by looking at how many jobs we create or retain. We also track how much capital we're creating with small businesses."

The center is now looking to raise additional funds from private companies, including banks, tax consultants and financial planners.

The center is planning to host an open house on Feb. 14.

For more information, or to set up a consultation, call (970) 468-5989 or visit www.coloradosbdc.org.


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The Summit Daily Updated Jan 5, 2013 12:40AM Published Jan 5, 2013 12:39AM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.