Ample help available to local entrepreneurs

The Grand Valley has a lot to offer businesses here: comparatively lower operating costs, ready access to air and ground transportation, a plethora of health care facilities and a growing university. That’s not to mention the scenic landscape or variety of recreational opportunities waiting just outside the front door.

One of the most attractive attributes of all, though, is the range of resources offered to help entrepreneurs start and grow their ventures. Talk about a business-friendly environment. There are few places in the world that provide in one locale the variety of services and programs available in the Grand Valley — or the collaboration among the agencies, groups and institutions that provide them.

The Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction, for example, serves as a global role model for what similar operations strive to achieve.

A recent event in Grand Junction billed as a small business development resource summit offered an excellent overview of who offers what. It was a pity more entrepreneurs looking for help didn’t attend. But a lot of what was presented at the summit is covered in this issue to help spread the word after the fact.

The summit featured leaders from the Business Incubator Center, Colorado Mesa University Department of Business, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Economic Partnership and Mesa County Workforce Center. The district director from SCORE, yet another organization that provides services to small businesses, also was on hand to talk about what will happen when that group soon returns to the Grand Valley.

The agencies, institutions and groups have different missions and offer different services. But they also work in conjunction to recruit new businesses to the area and help existing businesses remain in operation. If one group can’t address a specific issue, another likely can.

It’s challenging no doubt to operate a business even under the best of conditions. Despite the many advantages, the going has been especially rough in the Grand Valley in the aftermath of a recession and stubbornly slow recovery that’s lagged behind other areas of Colorado and the United States.

But here’s the point: Substantial help is available to entrepreneurs, mostly free for the asking. Coverage of the summit poses the rhetorical question: Who ya gonna call? The answer: any of the groups. So call already. Or go online for more information. Talk to a counselor, take a course, attend a networking event or talk to CMU about a consulting project. Seek and the prospects are excellent ye shall find.

While you’re at it, pick up a copy of the Business Times. Better still, purchase a subscription and have the paper conveniently delivered to your office. Each and every issue offers news, views and practical advice you can use to better manage your operation.

Entrepreneurs should take advantage of all the Grand Valley has to offer, but most especially the abundance of resources that are available to help them succeed. It’s a great place to live. It’s an even greater place to operate a business.