CENTER — A short, three-hour workshop to help Center business hopefuls develop a business plan and financial outline for a prospective business idea has been rescheduled for Oct. 4 from 4 -7 p.m. at the Viking Youth Club (old Masonic Hall) across the street from the Methodist Church.
Center received a $10,000 grant last year from Downtown Colorado Inc. (DCI) to help implement a downtown renovation program and attract new businesses. The town was then chosen to participate in DCI’s Colorado Challenge Accelerator Program. The program focuses on establishing a plan of work and proposal to engage public, private, and non-profit partners who in turn address a significant community challenge over the course of 12 months.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Alamosa is sponsoring the training event. Anyone who is interested in starting their own business in the town of Center is welcome to attend. The workshop will teach all the basic aspects of developing a business plan.
Potential business operators need only submit an outline of their ideas and SBDC will help do the rest. The workshop is free to those attending and is valued at over $500.
Those wishing to start a business can submit a business idea by taking the survey at: www.downtowncoloradoinc.org/Center The deadline to submit a one-page business idea is Oct. 2. The form will then be included in the Oct. 4 training.
On Sept. 30, Small Business Development Center Director Tom Monaco, Center Schools guidance counselor Katrina Ruggles and Center town manager Brian Lujan are scheduled to present the Business-Friendly Center business competition to students to recruit new participants.
Ruggles will also present the Capstone Project with the purpose of demonstrating that students are workforce ready. Downtown Colorado representative Brian Corrigan and a mural artist will be featured in a video, explaining the Lights On Center Activation initiative and asking for volunteers for help.
On Oct. 2, Monaco, Ruggles and Lujan will determine the preliminary pitch review panel and invite their participation. They will then create an evaluation form that provides written feedback to participants.
Monaco will then conduct the training Oct. 4 to develop business ideas, pitches and start youth on the right path to kick-off their business idea on Oct 15, (location to be determined).
The workshop covers:
• Planning: What is a business plan and how to write one.
• Financial: Profitability, cash flow, and pricing.
• Marketing: Social media, outreach, marketplace, reputation, and competition.
• Customers: Growth, satisfaction, target demographics, and feedback.
• Products/services: competition, innovation, trends, and regulations.
Participants will have a chance to practice their pitches on Oct. 11. A panel of five with representatives from the town, a business-owner, a financial representative, etc. will choose the top three to five pitches to present their ideas at Lights On Center on Oct. 15.
The Lights on Center Event will be held Oct. 15-16 and the winners of the competition will be selected. This event will serve as a catalyst to ongoing initiatives in Center. There will be a community table with a visioning, a potluck filled with community love, a kick-off for a youth-run business program, a lighting display and an interactive human arcade. To sign up for the potluck, go to http://downtowncoloradoinc.org/Center
A Center community forum and business workshop will be held Oct 17.
(Information for this article was provided by Tom Monaco, SBDC, and Downtown Colorado Inc.)