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Colorado Celebrates 30 Years of SBDC Services

Thursday, March 23, 2017

On March 22, the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network was honored for 30 years of service. Since 1987, Colorado’s SBDC network has helped aspiring and emerging small business owners achieve the American dream of entrepreneurship. The SBDC network in Colorado is the only statewide program of its kind with nearly 70 locations across the state.

In 2016, Colorado’s SBDCs provided 12,000 hours of consulting to 6,236 client businesses, resulting in 3,770 jobs created, $95 million in sales growth, $122 million in capital investments, and 451 new businesses started.

Boulder’s SBDC provided almost 3,000 hours of consulting to 621 client businesses, produced 85 workshops for 1,046 attendees, and helped start 31 businesses, create 259 jobs, and retain another 463 jobs. With the help of the Boulder SBDC, local businesses infused almost $44 million of capital, increased sales by over $6.5 million, and were awarded over $3.3 million in contracts.

Colorado participated in the first National SBDC Day on March 22 to celebrate the collective impact and success the SBDC has had across the state. SBDC Day is a national movement to help share small business success stories and notable impact SBDCs have fostered in communities across the country.

"For the past 30 years, the SBDC has worked to make Colorado a nationwide leader in job creation and small business growth," said director of the Colorado SDBC Network, Kelly Manning. "We are very proud of the work we have accomplished. Small business is the backbone of Colorado's economy."

Colorado's SBDC is the only SBDC program in the nation housed within the Governor's office and is one of only a handful of programs nationally accredited in technology development. It provides free, confidential consulting and no- or low-cost training programs and workshops.

"We are continually helping businesses bring new ideas and technologies to market and further escalating Colorado's innovative spirit," Manning said. "Our SBDC Network team of more than 250 staff and certified business consultants work in partnership to provide entrepreneurs with crucial information that can mean the difference between success and failure. "

Over 560,000 small businesses employ over 1 million people in Colorado.

"Our experts assist small businesses in every county throughout Colorado to create and retain jobs, increase sales, secure contracts and infuse capital into the economy," Manning added.

"We are thrilled to see SBDCs around the country working together to celebrate their clients and showcase the work they do for America's small businesses," said Charles "Tee" Rowe, America's SBDC President & CEO. "SBDC clients see an average job growth of 15.5 percent versus the national job growth average of just 1.9 percent. There is no denying the impact SBDCs have on the success of the small businesses in their communities and their local economies."

To learn more about Colorado's SBDC network visit

Colorado Small Business Development Center announces winners of the 2015 LEADING EDGE Business Plan Business Plan Competition and Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, March 01, 2016
The Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, held the annual LEADING EDGE Business Plan Competition and Awards Ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday. The organization awarded the top businesses plans from across the state in the start-up, existing and creative business plan categories. Winners were:

Creative Business Plan of the Year sponsored by Colorado Creative Industries: Chris Fisher,, an online image printing business focused on enabling general consumers and small businesses with the ability to customize and print their images for the purpose of wall art décor

Startup Business Plan of the Year sponsored by Colorado Lending Source: Steve & Kim Duty, Cheese+Provisions, a cut-to-order cheese shop with an emphasis on American farmstand cheeses

Existing Business Plan of the Year sponsored by ACCION: John Bridenbaugh, Altitude Paddleboards, a family-owned stand up paddleboarding company located in Littleton stocked with high quality exposy and inflatable boards, fixed and adjustable standup boards, and accessories

The Colorado LEADING EDGE program offers strategic planning courses through the SBDC network for start-up and existing businesses throughout the state. The courses offer comprehensive training to small business owners, providing them with a better understanding the aspects necessary to successfully manage their business. The course consists of 10-12 training workshops and requires each participant to attend one-on-one business consulting sessions and complete a business plan. 
In 2015, through the assistance of the SBDC, graduates from the LEADING EDGE program created and/or retained 608 jobs, started 29 businesses, obtained over $1.6 million in loans, and were awarded over $3.5 million in contracts. This economic impact would not be possible without the continued support provided by the SBDC community, sponsors, partners, consultants, and volunteers. 

In addition to the graduates and business plan awardees, the Colorado SBDC Network recognized the Consultant of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and Sponsor of the Year:

Consultant of the Year: Ron O’Herron, Pikes Peak SBDC

Volunteer of the Year: Alexis Lee, Southern Colorado SBDC

 Sponsor of the Year: Andrea Amonick, City of Aurora (host of the Aurora-South Metro Denver SBDC)
The event would not be possible without the support of generous LEADING EDGE sponsors. Food was provided in part by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. Beverages were provided by Left Hand Brewing, Tivoli Brewing, Red Leg Brewing, and Wild Women Wine. Cash awards for the top business plans were provided by Colorado Creative Industries, ACCION, and Colorado Lending Source. 

For more information about the Leading Edge program or the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, visit or call 303-592-5920.

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