Savvy entrepreneurs get by with a little help from their friends

Presidential pronouncements notwithstanding, entrepreneurs are more likely to thrive despite the government rather than because of it. Their innovative ideas, unrelenting drive and willingness to take risks have far more to do with bringing new products and services to the marketplace than any government benefaction.

That’s not to say, however, that entrepreneurs can take all of the credit entirely on their own. There are plenty examples of purely individual achievement, to be sure. Yet, most entrepreneurs will readily attribute success in large part to spouses, family members and friends who’ve backed their efforts. Banks and investors play a supporting role as well in providing financing to start new ventures and expand existing operations. Professionals offer their advice on accounting, legal and human resources issues.

And then there are the various organizations and agencies that offer assistance to entrepreneurs. Those doing business in Mesa County are particularly fortunate in that regard with the veritable cornucopia of available resources, most of them offered at no charge. In fact, a good portion of this very publication is filled with news about those organizations and their activities.

The Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction offers something of a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs in offering classes, individual counseling, low-cost rental space and a revolving loan fund.

But that’s only the prominent beginning of a lengthy list of what could be called friends of entrepreneurs that also includes local chambers of commerce, Colorado Mesa University, the Mesa County Workforce Center and Grand Junction Economic Partnership. On a state and national level, there’s the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and, of course, the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The cover story of this very issue details the services of yet another member of the group: the Colorado Procurement Technical Assistance Center. And here’s an interesting twist on the situation. PTAC educates and assists businesses interested in selling their products and services to the local, state and federal government.

PTAC helps businesses match their operations to the specific government entities purchasing their goods and services, reviews proposals for government bids and then helps businesses execute contracts. The potential market is huge by any industry standard. The state of Colorado spends about $20 billion annually on the goods and services it purchases.

In spending $500 billion annually on goods and services, the U.S. government constitutes the largest customer in the world.

Individual entrepreneurs remain the primary source of the business activity that drives the U.S. economy and creates most new jobs. Give credit to where it’s properly due.

But savvy entrepreneurs also know they can get by even better with a little help from their friends. There are a lot of those friends in Mesa County not only willing, but also anxious to offer their assistance. Learn more about available resources and take full advantage of them.