Fruit wins small business community award

The City of Fruita is among four winners of state awards designed to help rural communities promote economic development.

The winners of the Certified Small Business Community initiative were announced in Limon and also included Rio Blanco County as well as Lincoln and Prowers counties.

“The Certified Small Business Community award is a great example of how Colorado is going above and beyond existing resources to support the needs of our rural regions,” said Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne. “We congratulate today’s recipients and look forward to seeing how these regions leverage the new services and resources to help strengthen their economies and communities.”

The four winners will receive cash awards and technical assistance to complete action plan items. The awards will be used for a variety of purposes, including increased services, growing and retaining businesses, economic diversification and co-working spaces.

The four winners also will be featured on a website developed by the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network and will install highway signs declaring their status.

“With the Certified Small Business Community designation, the winners will have proof that their community is a great place to work, live and play in Colorado,” said Kelly Manning, Colorado SBDC director. “By participating in this initiative, communities will also have developed a strategic growth plan to diversify the local economy with entrepreneurs, so it’s more than just a title.”

The winners must have demonstrated a defined sense of place that sets them apart, have a concentration of entrepreneurship, a high level of community engagement and support of small business and the ability to execute the plan. The winners can include a single town or city, several towns or communities working together or a county.

The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network provides free and low-cost classes and counseling to small business owners and can assist with everything from financing and loan applications to growth strategies and market research.

The SBDC is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and funded in part through an agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In Grand Junction, a Small Business Development Center is operated at the Business Incubator Center, located at 2591 Legacy Way. For more information, call 2423-5242 or visit the website located at www.gjincubator.org.