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Renamed Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center broadens its scope

The Colorado Springs Small Business Development Center has changed its name to the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center to reflect its new focus on serving areas in the larger Colorado Springs area, including the Tri-Lakes area, Park County and Woodland Park and Cripple Creek in Teller County.

The center and its three-person staff, along with nearly 30 volunteers, offer classes and workshops and consult with startup and expanding small businesses to develop business plans, secure financing, improve marketing efforts and learn more about accounting and regulatory compliance. Much of the centers work has been focused on clients in Colorado Springs, and in recent years, helping small businesses recover from the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires as well as flooding that hit Manitou Springs and many other areas of El Paso County in the wake of the two fires.

As the centers disaster recovery efforts have wound down, we now have the ability to focus on areas of the region that we hadnt been able to serve as well, including reaching out to the two other counties – Teller and Park – that we serve in addition to El Paso County, said Aikta Marcoulier, the centers executive director. The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center can help businesses in the entire region, not just Colorado Springs. We hope the new name broadens our appeal to sponsors as well as highlights our resources for clients.

During the past three years, the center put on more than 200 workshops and seminars that attracted nearly 4,500 people and provided more than 5,000 hours of counseling to more than 1,300 businesses, more than half of which were trying to remain and expand in the Colorado Springs area, Marcoulier said. Those businesses created more than 300 jobs and continued to employ nearly 600 people, boosted their sales by $6.6 million and secured financing or other capital totaling $21.5 million, according to information the businesses provided to the center.

Besides expanding its geographic reach, the center also is adding workshops, seminars and consulting to both new and expanding businesses in web design and cybersecurity, on how to get contracts from the Colorado Department of Transportation and other state and federal government agencies and helping veterans start businesses, Marcoulier said. The center continues to offer disaster recovery services to businesses that suffered losses and workers that lost jobs due to the fires and floods, but is stressing preparedness for and sustainability after natural disasters, she said.

The center, located in the El Paso County Citizens Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road, was started in 1987 and has an annual budget totaling $280,000 funded by the US Small Business Administration, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs College of Business and the city of Colorado Springs.

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

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