Coffee and Connections has partnered with Longmont Area Economic Council to organize Free Business Workshops sponsored by the Longmont Public Library and the Friends of the Longmont Library. Our October 13th workshop, called “Navigating Small Business Resources in Longmont,” included representatives from local organizations that can answer questions about starting a business in Longmont, and each one of them had something valuable to share. Starting a business can be stressful, especially when you don’t know what resources are out there to help. But Longmont is a unique community, partnering up with services that can help you grow your business:
Longmont Area Economic Council: Whether you are considering starting a business or you have an established, growing, business in Longmont, the Longmont Area Economic Council is the best place to start. Their mission is to lead a comprehensive, collaborative economic development strategy to promote and strengthen our community’s economic health.
Colorado Enterprise Fund: I have to admit, I’m pretty fond of this group’s tagline: “Creating big opportunities for small business.” Their mission is to “accelerate community prosperity by financing and supporting entrepreneurs and small business in Colorado.” They’ll answer questions like, “Do I need to charge a sales and use tax?” You’ll soon find out that it’s not as bad as getting a root canal! The Colorado Enterprise Fund is the first place you should go when getting started with a new business.
Longmont Downtown Development Authority: The LDDA was founded in 1982 to help develop a vital downtown area with a true community feel, and I think they’re accomplishing their goals. The LDDA is still working on a “walkable downtown” and offers incentives for businesses moving into the downtown area; these incentives are available to all property and business owners within LDDA’s boundaries.
Small Business Development Center: The SBDC provides a wide range of resources to help small businesses. They consult with potential business owners in the community about their goals and the roadblocks and industry challenges they might encounter along the way.
Longmont Chamber of Commerce: I loved what I heard from the new president of the Chamber; he used the word “community” when he discussed who the Chamber wants to partner with. He also shared what I thought was a mind-blowing stat—63% of people will purchase something from a Chamber member! I have been involved with the Chamber for many years, and I have attended hundreds of events, but I never really truly knew everything about them until this workshop. The Chamber’s mission is to be “a steward on behalf of businesses and to effect positive change influencing public policy and economic sustainability, helping to shape thecommunity you do business in to be its best.” Let us just digest that statement for a moment: “positive change,” “influencing,” and “helping to shape the community.” Amazing!
As I sat there listening to the representatives from all these organizations, I realized that they all had something in common besides helping small businesses—they all use the word “community” when discussing how they can help, and they all partner with each other to bring Longmont’s business community together.
Mark your calendars for November 10, the next workshop in the series. It’s called “Navigating the 21st-Century Office,” and it will feature important information about popular alternative office to full-time commercial office space. It’s in the Longmont Public Library Meeting Room from 6-8pm.