Inaugural Small Business Week — May 2 — May 8

The Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will receive a $20,000 grant from the Fort Collins-based Blue Ocean Foundation.

We salute the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority as it announces the inaugural Small Business Week to run May 2 through May 8 celebrated in Fort Collins and throughout Northern Colorado. Small, locally-owned businesses help anchor the communities they serve, help keep dollars circulating in the local economy, and often, they offer greatly enhanced customer service (when was the last time someone in a big box store called you by name?)

Some weeks back we asked our readers to share their favorite small businesses. Stephanie Sweas wrote in with an extensive list of favorites and enthusiastic comments.

Stephanie’s Top 14 FoCO Businesses for visitors and locals alike suggests that you “enjoy a fun day’s walk-about as all are on, or very near College Avenue in FoCo’s Downtown Old-Town:”

1) HIMALAYAN GIFTS I so enjoy multi-cultural exploration and this shop is my ‘go-to’ stop for incense. Rishi, the hard-working, friendly proprietor stocks endless exotic treasures from India, Tibet and Nepal. Stop in, say hi, and buy! Namaste!!

2) 10,000 VILLAGES The name says it all…a non-profit organization long-time supporting the work/wares of talented (yet disadvantaged) artisans from around the world — help support them!

3) BRAND SPANKING USED Who doesn’t like a downtown deal? Find ‘one-of-a-kind’ recyclables, furniture, clothing, housewares, books and more!

4) ECO THRIFT Ditto with this shop…. seriously into sustainability and fun bargains (they even recycle small batteries). Lessen the landfills by shopping here!

5) REPEAT BOUTIQUE Visit this charming cottage on College Avenue for consignment clothes and collectibles and meet the “Couture Coquettes” who run the place!

6) HOT HUB MONGOLIAN GRILL Hungry Nomads?! Good, buffet-style grub sizzled on one humongous grill — worthy of Ghenghis himself!

7) MUGS Sit a spell on their corner patio with a cuppa Jazzy Java and a delectable $1 Brownie as you peep at the folks passing by.

8) SLYCE Pesto Pizza? Grab gourmet slices at their window on Mason…I betcha you’ll be back!

9) EVERYDAY JOE’S A friendly fusion of coffeehouse, creativity, and community can-do, can be found here on any given day!

10) LITTLE BIRD BAKERYYummy Quiche…and coffee and cakes and cookies!

11) BIZARRE BAZAAR Free Books, music, magazines and more outside– even MORE magic inside!

13) AVOGADRO’S NUMBER This anti-establishment establishment hosts a tasty Tempeh 2-for-$10 daily special — my ‘raison-to-go’… so is the cozy patio!

14) TAJ MAHAL Last but not least, after your all-day shopping safari, enjoy the evening with exotic, exquisite, East Indian dining (the Samosas are divine)!

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