SBDC offers services to Center



CENTER— During the Center Town Board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 23, SLV Small Business Development Center (SLV SBDC) director Thomas Monaco offered the town free business consulting services to aid small businesses trying to establish themselves in the town or experiencing difficulties staying afloat.
Town Administrator Brian Lujan invited Monaco to the meeting after speaking to him at Adams State University. The town is trying to develop its downtown area and Monaco has offered to meet with Downtown Colorado officials Dec. 3 when they visit Center.
Monaco said he is interested in the individual dynamics of each community and what helps businesses succeed in each location. He wants to develop businesses that help maintain the character of the community, he said, working to aid them in making the right connections for success.
Monaco works with SLV Development Resource Group (SLVDRG), Rio Grande Development and ScSEED in Saguache in the course of his duties. He describes himself as the behind-the-scenes guy and says he works with small business people then refers them to SLVDRG for financing assistance.
Leading Edge business courses and other educational seminars will be offered in the spring and fall of 2019, Monaco said, although funding for the fall session is still not complete. SLV SBDC is funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and at the state level, the Office of Economic Development.  
Lujan told Monaco he hopes Center can develop opportunities to become major players in the hemp industry and Monaco told the board that the Valley is already the number one hemp producer in the nation. Monaco urged the town to move quickly to cash in on any hemp growing arrangements to reap the advantages of the hemp boom.

Other business
Trustee Bill McClure urged the town to go forward with open discussions regarding the annexation of the Consaul property beginning with the next meeting. He told the board that previous Administrator Joan Mobley had already begun the process with Saguache County and the county had all but approved the annexation idea.
McClure said the town has been sitting on the annexation idea for years and it is time to move forward.

Miscellaneous items
• Grant funding for water meters is moving forward and the different types of residences are being assessed to fit meters to residential needs.
• The town is experiencing problems with its Xcel Energy contract and cannot be released from the contract until next year. Lujan said the Public Utilities Commission cannot help and he is submitting a letter detailing the problems to Xcel. McClure suggested taking the issue to a big Denver law firm to see if they have any suggestions.
• The board approved two liquor licenses and a $500 donation to a local baseball program.


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