SBDC Template


Larimer SBDC Deserves City Support

Thursday, September 04, 2014

What do Little Bird Bakery, Pateros Creek Brewing Company, Green Ride Shuttle, and Rain Boutique have in common?   Answer- they are all clients and success stories of the Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an organization that has provided FREE confidential consulting and business workshops to Fort Collins small businesses and startups for over 25 years.  This year, our organization will provide over 2400 free consulting hours of assistance, up 40% from last year, to 350+ local businesses and individuals. Our consultants provide unbiased expertise in marketing, accounting/finance, operations, startup basics/planning, plus offer a broad range of industry-specific insights.  We also perform business recovery assistance, including support to Estes Valley businesses impacted by the September 2013 flood.

Over the last three years, our local SBDC helped 78 new businesses start, created and saved over 800 jobs,  and increased client sales by $9.0M. Through our relationships with local commercial bankers, we helped clients raise $13M in capital for product and business expansion. We provide resources and tools for organic growth, to businesses and individuals here in Fort Collins. Additionally, we have performance objectives to support women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.

The Larimer SBDC is funded at $65,000 per year by Front Range Community College (FRCC), a marvelous “unsung hero” of this program.  We also receive $65,000 per year of federal Small Business Administration (SBA) funding, for a combined $130,000 contribution EVERY YEAR to local “main street” businesses. Over the last 25 years, these two organizations contributed over $3.2M to our small business community!  This year, the City of Fort Collins awarded the SBDC a competitively-bid, one-time $17,500 grant. The City’s 2015/16 proposed budget DOES NOT FUND the SBDC’s $40,000 annual request, despite “Support Larimer SBDC” being a recognized initiative in the City’s own Economic Health strategic plan.  I believe this oversight needs to be corrected. 

I recognize the City has multiple “offers” competing for funding, and faces difficult choices. Given that, doesn’t it make sense to fund a program that’s already contributed over $3.2M in support of Fort Collins local businesses?  The City of Loveland supports its local program with over $100K of funding annually. So this year, if you are a Loveland business utilizing consulting/training help, the City of Loveland is investing in you at a 9-to-1  MULTIPLE over your Fort Collins competitor, on a per capita basis. Statewide, “competing” municipalities consistently and significantly fund their local SBDC centers.  

City of Fort Collins Council, I strongly encourage you to help support local businesses in your 2015/16 budget by funding offer #46.7 for the Larimer SBDC.  I believe FRCC and the SBA  deserve to see that their generous long-standing financial support  to the Fort Collins business community is reciprocated and appreciated.

Fort Collins businesses, please make your voice heard to City Council at  As a former Fort Collins business owner, I feel the Larimer SBDC is an importance asset for our small businesses.

Thank you.

Mike O’Connell
Larimer SBDC Director


Friday, May 23, 2014

Help us Help You!
The City of Fort Collins has started its 2015/2016 budget process, and is generously and appropriately proposing a $40K per year "offer" for Larimer SBDC support. Our SBDC offer will compete with many other offers for final funding.
WE ARE ASKING YOU TO GO TO THE CITY'S WEBSITE BY WEDNESDAY MAY 28th TO REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT FOR OUR SBDC, so we can continue and grow our free confidential consulting and wide range of business classes to support your local small business. It's quick and easy, and here are the 5 steps needed...

Step 1Like us on Facebook
Step 2
CLICK ON THE "ECONOMIC HEALTH" TAB (after you do this, you should be in the "enhancements" section, not the "ongoing" section).

Step 3
Page down to Offer #46.7, Support Larimer SBDC, and CLICK ON THE GREEN DOT.

Step 4
INPUT YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS (required), and add any comments if you desire (optional).

Step 5

That's it! Two minutes of your time by Wednesday May 28th will help us immensely! Thank you so much for your help and support of your SBDC !!

Thank you for your help!

Mike O'Connell                                          Terri Donovan-Keirns
Larimer SBDC Director                              Larimer SBDC Coordinator                    
970-215-2300                                            970-498-9295