Greetings entrepreneurs and friends,


As we celebrate National Small Business Week this week, we are thrilled to announce the outpouring of support from our local elected officials. This year, the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center (SBDC) proudly received proclamations from the El Paso County Commissioners, Colorado Springs City Council and City of Fountain Council, and we eagerly anticipate one from the Town of Monument Council.

The significance of these proclamations cannot be overstated. These proclamations serve as tangible expressions of recognition and appreciation for the vital role small businesses play in our community's economic landscape. They signify a commitment from our elected leaders to champion entrepreneurship, innovation and growth within our region.


At the heart of every thriving economy are the small businesses that fuel its momentum. They are the backbone of our communities, driving job creation, fostering innovation, and contributing to the unique fabric of our neighborhoods. In recognizing Small Business Week with these proclamations, our local officials reaffirm their dedication to fostering an environment where small businesses can flourish.


By adopting a resolution to support Small Business Week, our local officials send a powerful message of solidarity and commitment to the small business community. They underscore the importance of collaboration between government and entrepreneurs in creating an ecosystem where businesses of all sizes can thrive.


As we continue through Small Business Week, let us celebrate not only the achievements of our entrepreneurs but also the unwavering support of our local leaders. Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient economy that benefits us all.


Warm regards,

The Pikes Peak SBDC Team 

We're in the midst of Small Business Week! Recently, Dani Bolling (Colorado Springs Chamber Chamber & EDC), Paul Myers-Bennett (BBB of Southern Colorado) and Brandon Eldridge (Pikes Peak SBDC) were featured on Business Digest Radio discussing their collaboration on the most exciting and edifying week for small businesses throughout the region.

Last week, we celebrated National Executive Assistant Day and recognized our own administrative assistant, Omarr Melendez, for all of his work to keep our office running day to day. Omarr joined our team in November and proudly comes from a family of small business entrepreneurs. Thank you for everything you do, Omarr!

Last month, the Pikes Peak SBDC attended Woodland Park's largest business expo and marketplace. Attendees were able to meet face to face with local business people ready to talk about a variety of products and services offered including banking, financial, business services, construction, home maintenance and repair, healthcare, senior housing and more.

Join us for this free event on May 21! The 2024 Small Business Resource Fair is a one-stop shop to learn about all of the resources to support the success of your small business. Attendees can connect with more than 30 vendors, including state, local and county government entities; non-profit organizations and lending institutions.

Recently, Pikes Peak SBDC Executive Diretor Brandon Eldridge was featured on the Be Encouraged with Frank & Lisa podcast with other business leaders.

Last month, the SBDC team attended the Tri-Lakes Chamber & EDC's Annual Awards Dinner, where several annual awards were given.

Registration is opwn for the Women Presidents Organization (WPO) Entrepreneurial Excellence Forum, to be held on May 14 at The Pinery. There are 70 complimentary seats available for women CEOs in Colorado Springs. The day will be packed with valuable insights, networking opportunities and expert advice to take your business to new heights.

El Paso County private nonprofit organizations have until May 28 to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury caused by severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that occurred June 8 – 23, 2023. Private nonprofits that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance.

Come check out the new look of the Techsource/Cyber CYA website. We have all the new training and resources for small businesses in every stage of development and growth.


The first training session of the new Cyber CYA “Defend & Prosper: Fortifying Your Small Business Against Cyber Threats” series will begin on May 14 at 12:00 pm with the basics. Register now to get started on securing your business.


Know you need to strengthen your cyber posture but are not sure where to start? Schedule an appointment with one of our cybersecurity specialists for a free consulting session to get you on track. The risks to small businesses are great and getting more powerful and sneaky. Don’t be one of those that gets compromised.


Not sure if you are ready for a consulting session or have a question about one of our on demand training sessions? Register for the next monthly Cyber CYA Office Hour on May 24 at 9:00 am.


Can’t join the May 14 webinar but want to learn some basics first? Check out the webinars we did last month as part of the new Brown Bag learning series: First Steps to Securing Your Business and Growing Your Business. Securely.

VISIT TECHSOURCE/CYBER CYA WEBSITE

Small Business Week Marketing Panel


May 1, 11:30 am

@ Harvey House

Chamber Networking Breakfast

Tri-Lakes Chamber & EDC

May 2, 7:30 am

@ Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce

In The Mix: Small Business Week Listening Tour

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC

May 2, 11:15 am

@Bluestaq Offices

Active Shooter Training

Greater Woodland Park Chamber

May 2, 11:30 am

@ Ute Pass Cultural Center

Networking Breakfast

Fountain Valley Chamber

May 3, 7:00 am

@ Fountain Utilities Building

First Friday at the Space Foundation

Southern Colorado Women's Chamber

May 3, 7:30 am

@ Space Foundation, Area 52

Small Business Week Closing Networking Event

May 3, 4:00 pm

Lulu's Downstairs

Hope Blooms: A Mother's Day Celebration with Partners in Housing

Colorado Springs Black Chamber

May 4, 11:00 am

@ Peel House

El Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Dinner

Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber

May 4, 4:00 pm

@ Creekside Event Center

3rd Annual Heroes in Mental Health Golf Tournament

Colorado Springs Black Chamber

May 6, 8:00 am

@ The Broadmoor Golf Club

Elevating Leadership Development Black Advisory Council Meeting

Colorado Springs Black Chamber

May 7, 5:30 pm

@ Penrose House

Latino Community Luncheon

Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber

May 8, 11:30 am

@ Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber

May Business After Hours

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC

May 8, 5:00 pm

@ Springs Pickleball

PACCSoCo 1st Anniversary Gala & Awards Night

Philippine American Chamber of Commerce

May 11, 6:00 pm

@ Antlers Hotel

Young Professionals Coffee Meetup

Southern Colorado Women's Chamber

May 13, 10:00 am

@ Mandy Penn Photography

2024 Armed Forces Luncheon

Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC

May 13, 11:30 am

@ DoubleTree Hilton Colorado Springs

Next Level Management & Consulting Digital Marketing Series

Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber

May 14, 12:00 pm

@ Google Meet

Teller County Job Fair

Greater Woodland Park Chamber

May 14, 1:00 pm

@ Ute Pass Cultural Center

Leveraging AI for Small Business Success

Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce

May 15, 11:30 am

@ Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Networking Breakfast

Tri-Lakes Chamber & EDC

May 16, 7:30 am

@ Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce

WE Pre-Conference Workshops

Central SBDC

May 16, 9:00 am

@ Salida SteamPlant Event Center

The Power of WE (Women Entrepreneurs) Conference

Central SBDC

May 17, 8:30 am

@ Salida SteamPlant Event Center

Pitch Night

Expotential Impact

May 16, 5:30 pm

@ Exponential Impact

Networking Breakfast

Fountain Valley Chamber

May 17, 7:00 am

@ Fountain Utilities Building

Business Lunch

Southern Colorado Women's Chamber

May 21, 11:00 am

@ Garden of the Gods Resort & Club

Business After Hours

Tri-Lakes Chamber & EDC

May 21, 5:00 pm

@ First National Bank Colorado

Business After Hours

Greater Woodland Park Chamber

May 21, 5:30 pm

@ Foxworth - Galbraith Lumber Company

Educational Series

Visit Colorado Springs

May 22, 3:00 pm

@ TBD

National Security Speaker Series

Colorado Springs Chambe & EDC

May 22, 5:00 pm

@ UCCS

Sunset Meet & Greet

Southern Colorado Women's Chamber

May 23, 5:00 pm

@ Mandy Penn Photography

Paul Hasty is the owner of multiple companies here in the Colorado Springs area all centered in the automotive industry. His focus is mostly around car aesthetics, dedicated to making cars look and feel fantastic. With Tint Technologies, he grew a reputation as the best window tint company in Colorado Springs, not only for your automotive needs, but also for homes and commercial buildings. He uses what is known as “break-resistant” window tint, and customer testimonials have shown their appreciation for this extra safety measure.


When asked why he got into the business, Paul said with a laugh, “it looked easily initially.” Being from Detroit however, it’s no surprise that he grew up with a love for cars. He started off installing more minor car accessories and grew into working with bigger improvements, finally landing on window tint because of the importance he saw it had with car owners. 


Paul credits the SBDC and consultant Ron O’Herron for part of the growth and success his company Tint Technologies has seen, saying, “The SBDC helped me to focus on growing my business instead of working in my business.” He said it was valuable that he could have someone to talk to about his ideas for areas such as growth planning, marketing, and hiring employees. When he’d be mulling over the idea of buying a new piece of machinery, he could turn to Ron to strategize and assure the decision was a good next move. He also appreciates that Ron is a veteran as well, making it easy to relate with him.


Paul mentioned his hopes of retiring “soon,” and having a desire to volunteer his time to help others in the process of starting businesses as well. There was mention of a possible collaboration with Pikes Peak SBDC on a customer service course, and if the recommendations on his LinkedIn page indicate anything, it’s that he would be a great, if not the best, fit for such a course. We thank Paul Hasty for using our services and being a great entrepreneurial example to follow in the community.

Jackie Gonzalez is an SBA and Business Banker with American Bank of Commerce and has been in the financial services industry in Colorado Springs for over 30 years. At ABC Bank, she enjoys working with businesses to help them achieve their financial goals and has the experience to work within a variety of different business sectors. She has been an SBDC consultant for about 15 years.


Q: Tell us about your background and why you consult with the SBDC?

A: I love working with small businesses through my job and was looking for a way to give back to the community. I know the significant impact small business has on our local economy and I wanted to help those businesses grow and succeed. I know if they are successful our economy will thrive. 


Q: Can you share a recent success story where you've helped a small business overcome a significant challenge? What strategies did you employ, and what were the outcomes?

A: I had a small business who was bidding on a large contract but would not have the capital available to cover payroll and operating costs while they were waiting to be paid from the contract. Their current revenue and cash flow made it challenging to provide them with funding. We were able to take a look at projections based on the contract they were bidding on and provide them with an SBA guaranteed line of credit that allowed them to bid on the contract and additional contracts in the future. 


Q: In your experience, what are the most common hurdles that small businesses face when trying to grow or expand? How do you typically assist them in navigating these challenges?

A: Funding is a big hurdle that a lot of businesses face when trying to expand or grow. I can assist with that by explaining what options are available, whether it's an SBA loan or some other solution. Luckily in Colorado Springs we have a lot of good bank and non-bank options for business owners.


Q: Small business owners often wear many hats. How do you advise them on prioritizing tasks and responsibilities to ensure long-term success? 

A: Because of what I do I try to explain to them why their finances are an important thing to focus on. If they don't understand how to look at a financial statement or don't know how to do basic bookkeeping (which most business owners don't) then I advise them to get help in that area. If a business is not making money, then it won't survive. Most business owners are very good at their profession but may not understand the "business" side of their business. I strong advise them to get help in those areas where they are lacking.


Q: Funding and financial management can be daunting for small business owners. What are some practical tips you provide to help them secure funding and manage their finances efficiently? 

A: Learn how to read a financial statement and make sure you are reviewing your financials on a regular basis. For some businesses that might be daily, weekly or monthly but make sure you are looking at them and understanding the numbers. It allows you to react quickly and catch issues before they become a problem.  


Q: Can you discuss the resources and tools that SBDC provides to support small businesses beyond consulting? How can entrepreneurs take advantage of these offerings? 

A: The classes and workshops are invaluable. The more you know the better you will be at operating your business. In addition, you will make connections with other business owners and other professionals in the community that can help you in a variety of ways.  


Q: Could you share a piece of advice that you find yourself giving to entrepreneurs time and time again? Something that's universally valuable for anyone starting or running a small business? 

A: Don't be afraid to ask for help. No one knows everything and if you don't know how to do something get help. The SBDC is a great resource for that. 


Q: Any recent hobby discoveries you'd like to share? 

A: I have started playing pickleball and it's a blast!


Q: If you had a superpower for one day, what would it be? 

A: ESP so I could predict the future and get winning power ball numbers

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH JACKIE

Watts@Work

The Watts@Work program is for workplaces that are at any step in the workplace charging process. Whether you have already installed chargers or may not be able to install chargers for some time, as long as your values align with providing charging at workplaces, you can sign the pledge. Your organization can also sign the pledge to show your support for helping businesses install charging stations and they share your logo on their website if you'd like! Contact Milly Cruz or visit this webpage for more information. 

Creators’ Momentum Business Accelerator | May 13 Deadline

The Creators’ Momentum Business Accelerator is an eight-week virtual program designed to provide creative entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to take their businesses to the next level.The program will provide 100 business owners with a full suite of impactful offerings, including self-paced online courses, valuable industry expertise via virtual seminars, networking opportunities with like-minded creative entrepreneurs via virtual workshops and a $5,000 business grant upon successful completion of the program.

Stimpunks Foundation Grant

Stimpunks offers $3,000 grants to neurodivergent and disabled creators focused on art, advocacy, or research. They also offer $500 mutual aid grants to help cover anything these creators need for welfare and survival. You can apply for both.

Comcast Rise | May 31 Deadline

This year, Comcast RISE will award 500 recipients in five cities (including southern Colorado) with a grant package that includes business consultation services, educational resources, monetary grant, creative production, media schedule, and a technology makeover. 

AT&T She's Connected | July 1 Deadline

Share your small business story for the chance to win $50,000, a year of AT&T service with a new device, and more. Business must be women-owned and have 50 employees or less.

CEDS Finance Grants | May 3 Deadline

Grants of $5,000 will be awarded to underserved small businesses based on the eligibility criteria, with a priority on low-income status. Applications will then be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis until all grant funds are disbursed.

SPARK Loan Increases to $15,000

The SPARK loan is designed for business owners who want to test a new idea and build a credit history. SPARK now has a maximum loan amount of $15,000 (previously $5,000) and a streamlined underwriting and closing process. 

Startup Colorado Community Funding | Rolling 

Startup Colorado prioritizes the funding of projects, initiatives and events that prioritize collaboration, inclusiveness, accessibility, and community support. The maximum award is $2,500. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, decisions will be made at the end of each month.

HerRise MicroGrant | Rolling

The HerRise Micro-Grant provides financial assistance to women of color creating innovative solutions that impact their community and that are often unable to secure funding for their small business. Apply for the HerRise MicroGrant by sharing your business pitch and plan in the application.

Grants for Single Moms | Rolling

The Kickass Single Mom Stimulus Grant has one goal: Give a hand to single moms struggling with money, health, stress, child care, illness and loneliness. Every month, they grant $500 to a single mom, no strings attached.

Manufacturer’s Edge Small Manufacturing Recovery Grants | Rolling

Manufacturer’s Edge is an organization that provides onsite support, strategy, planning, training, and technical assistance to manufacturers across Colorado. The SMRG’s purpose is to help fund costs of consultative services for manufacturers. 

U.S. Senator Hickenlooper's Federal Grants Support

Senator Hickenlooper is working hard to ensure that Colorado continues to receive its fair share of these federal investments, and his office is eager to serve as a resource for more information, answer additional questions, and assist with your application.

Another great resource is this Grant & Funding Database from our partners at the East Colorado SBDC.


Questions about these grants? Please reach out to Ginelle Curcincita, owner of OroMar Consulting, where she positions entrepreneurs to confidently bring in the money!

U.S. Bancorp, with more than 70,000 employees and $663 billion in assets as of December 31, 2023, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company serves millions of customers locally, nationally, and globally through a diversified mix of businesses including consumer banking, business banking, commercial banking, institutional banking, payments and wealth management. U.S. Bancorp has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, community partnerships and customer service, including being named one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies and Fortune’s most admired superregional bank. To learn more, click here

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