Garfield County approves additional $5,000 to SBDC

Small Business Development Center seeing large increase in consultations in 2019

August 16, 2019

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – A federal program that helps new and existing businesses grow and flourish is reporting success in Garfield County. A midyear update from the Northwest Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) presented positive impacts on the local business community. This news prompted the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to grant an additional $5,000 for business development out of its discretionary fund.

The BOCC had already granted $5,000 to the organization in January. The Northwest Colorado SBDC provides training and workshops at little to no cost, and free consultation to individuals or businesses in areas of small business enterprise, including management, operation and finance.

“I understand the request was for a focus on the western part of Garfield County, and I’m very committed to making sure that happens,” said Erin McCuskey, regional director of SBDC. “We’ve seen a lot of positives this year.”

SBDC employs 11 consultants in Garfield County, and met with 34 individual clients and provided 75 business consultations in 2018. These figures are on the rise; the SBDC has already met with 32 individual clients and conducted 74 consultations in 2019 through June 30.

“I think those numbers are very encouraging,” McCuskey told the board. “We’re about on track to double last year’s numbers.”

In the city of Rifle alone, SBDC conducted five consultations to businesses last year, and already has provided 12 such sessions there in 2019. Three workshops have been held in Garfield County this year (one in Glenwood Springs and two in Carbondale) with 50 people participating.

SBDC is hosting workshops this fall in Rifle and Carbondale that cover business startups; how to write a business plan; and small business finance essentials. It’s also launching a new website, which provides business resources and links to webinars for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“We’ve needed this, especially in western Garfield County,” said Commissioner Mike Samson. “Now it’s materialized, and I’m so happy about this.”

The $5,000 grant was approved unanimously, 3-0.

“Our municipalities west of Glenwood Springs have not recovered from the recession,” added Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “We need your help, and we need to focus on western Garfield County. I think this is a good use for the funds.”