Time to grow: Roundtable for farmers market vendors comes to Summit June 4 | SummitDaily.com

Time to grow: Roundtable for farmers market vendors comes to Summit June 4

Summit Daily staff reports
news@summitdaily.com

Farmers market season is right around the corner in the High Country, and food vendors from across the state are gearing up for what is going to be another great summer.

The Northwest Colorado Small Business Development Centers is kicking off the 2015 farmers market season with an event on June 4. SBDC mentors will be hosting a discussion concerning the resources needed for cottage food vendors to expand their business.

The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Dillon. Pre-registration through the SBDC website is encouraged.

The roundtable is open to anyone, but SBDC organizers say it's best for professionals already involved with the food industry, particularly. Current cottage food vendors looking to expand their business to wholesale markets or gain a greater foothold in their own farmer's market circuit, commercial kitchen space owners and people who are just starting their own food business are welcome.

"The local food landscape is quickly changing in Summit County and the surrounding region thanks to a new Whole Foods and a potential new Natural Grocers coming in," said Trent Owens, project manager for the Northwest Colorado SBDC. "This expansion provides new opportunities for cottage food producers to grow and take up some shelf space in these stores. We want to make sure these producers are prepared to make the jump, and this discussion is the first step in this development process."

The roundtable is a lead-in to a future feasibility study for small-business kitchen space. The Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and the local SBDC have received a $20,000 Rural Economic Development Initiative grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

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This grant is for the development of a feasibility study focusing on the need and viability of a potential kitchen incubator that will be based in Summit County and service the surrounding region.

For more information on the roundtable, along with ways to be involved in the kitchen incubator, see the SBDC website at http://www.northwestsbdc.com.

'HOW TO START A BUSINESS' WORKSHOP IN DILLON ON JUNE 3

The local office of the Northwest Colorado Small Business Development Center is hosting a seminar on the ins and outs of starting a small business.

The free seminar begins at 8:30 a.m. at the SBDC offices in Dillon (325 Fiedler Ave.).

This comprehensive orientation is designed as a starting place for anyone who has considered jumping into business for the first time (or the second time, except with a better outcome).

This seminar provides attendees with a Colorado Start-Up Guide, as well as free library resources to support your business and websites. SBDC mentors will also give a general overview of the things to consider when starting a business.

For more info, call (970) 968-5802 or visit the local SBDC website at http://www.northwestsbdc.org.

VIRTUAL REALITY MARKETING SEMINAR COMES TO ELEVATE COSPACE ON JUNE 4

Elevate CoSpace in Frisco is hosting a workshop on the new and emerging world of virtual-reality marketing.

The free workshop runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 4 at Elevate (711 Granite Street.)

Virtual reality and other immersive technologies have received a lot of attention lately, making headlines in publications such as Wired, Fortune and The New York Times. So, what's all the buzz about?

If you think it's just for gaming, think again. INC Magazine says VR could be the future of marketing. Big brands like Volvo, Ford, Thomas Cook, Destination British Columbia and Marriot are having great success with VR marketing campaigns.

Have you experienced a VR headset? Do you know what multi-resolution imagery is and its ability to integrate social tagging? Are you familiar with spherical video? Would you like to know more about how this technology is used to deliver an immersive marketing experience to customers?

Join representatives from Fathom VR at Elevate to get your hands on the technology, with immersive demos and engaging discussions guided by local industry professionals.

Whether you are a marketing professional or oversee a lodging, dining or activities-related company, don't miss out on the opportunity to discuss this new era of digital marketing and how it can be a good fit for local businesses in a mountain community.

ECONOMISTS DON'T EXPECT ANOTHER HOUSING BUBBLE DESPITE RAPIDLY RISING PRICES

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released on Tuesday was the latest report to show a relentless rise in housing prices, causing some economists to ask: Is another bubble forming?

According to a May 26 article from The Wall Street Journal, housing prices have been climbing for 35 consecutive months, but economists pointed to several reasons why that isn't a concern, namely that while prices keep rising, the rate of growth has slowed. In the first three months of this year, home prices gained 0.8 percent, according to the S&P Case-Shiller national index. That's down from 2.8 percent in the first three months of 2013 and 1.2 percent during the same period of last year.

"There is no bubble to be anxious about," said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. Price growth in most markets is "a lot softer" than it was a year ago, he noted.

Economists also aren't concerned about a price bubble because far fewer new homes are being built than a decade ago, so there is little concern about oversupply. And, most buyers are using cash or getting 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages that don't carry the same risks as the subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages that many received during the boom.

To be sure, some markets, such as San Francisco and Denver, have seen staggering gains. Denver has surpassed its peak home prices in 2006 by nearly 17 percent.

But, some economists said that's a sign of a normal housing market because in a bubble prices typically rise in tandem across the country, rather than responding to the strength of local economies.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, has been among the loudest sounding the alarm that prices are too high. But, he said that he isn't worried about a bubble, just that the lack of affordability may cause demand to evaporate.

"In a sense, it is demoralizing for people who want to save up for a down payment," he said.

Another concern is a possible jump in interest rates. John Burns, chief executive of John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc., said that would put homes out-of-reach for many at current price levels in many major cities.

Today, mortgage rates are roughly about 3.7 percent. That makes homes in all top 30 metro areas either undervalued or fairly valued at current prices, according to Burns. But, if rates rose to 6 percent, homes in more than half of those markets, åincluding Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Denver, would be overvalued.