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The Larimer Small Business Development Center helped over 1,200 local entrepreneurs receive funding last year to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Larimer team worked to provide consulting for more local companies than any other Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in the state in 2020. The Larimer SBDC additionally helped clients increase their sales by $26.2 million last year, which was also the highest statewide.
“These results are a credit to our many consultants and instructors who helped our entrepreneurs through choppy waters,” said Mike OConnell, senior director of the Larimer SBDC.
The center offers one-on-one consulting and guidance to businesses within Larimer County free of charge. They also conducted 75 low-cost business education classes for over 1,100 attendees over the course of last year.
Mike’s team began a new funding resource group that worked to help business owners navigate the complicated options for recovery loans and grants. The SBDC helped companies apply for many federal, state, and local assistance, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
“Our work here helped Larimer County businesses obtain $24.5 million in funding, which was number one in the state,” said Mike. “This helped local businesses stay afloat, allowing them to continue employing area workers,” Mike said.
The team worked to aid clients in creating and retaining over 800 jobs and helped a total of 24 new businesses get started. The Larimer SBDC collaborates with the Loveland Business Development Center and multiple other strategic partners and dedicated sponsors to provide street-smart business education and connections to useful resources for entrepreneurs within Larimer County.
“COVID disrupted businesses and employees from both a public health and a financial standpoint,” said Jean Runyon, vice president of Front Range Community College’s Larimer Campus. (The Larimer SBDC is hosted and sponsored by FRCC.) “I’m always exceedingly proud of the SBDC and want to thank the team for giving virtual support and assistance to so many local entrepreneurs,” Jean said.
For more information regarding the Larimer Small Business Development Center, visit: www.larimersbdc.org or call 970-204-8600