Region VIII 2019 Excellence and Innovation Awardee

Monday, April 15, 2019

East CO SBDC will receive SBA award for Colorado and Region VIII. 

Greeley, CO: The East Colorado Small Business Development Center (East CO SBDC) has been selected as the SBA’s Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation awardee for 2019. East CO will not only be recognized for the state of Colorado but for Region VIII. The center will be recognized May 8th at the Monfort College of Business at 10:00 am, then formally recognized at the annual SBA Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 10th. Community members, small business owners, and members of the SBDC family are invited to attend the free proclamation May 8th.

Annually the SBA selects SBDC centers at a state, regional, and national level. When speaking with Lisa Hudson, Director at East CO SBDC, she states “We are grateful to have been nominated and awarded for our work to support entrepreneurship in Colorado. We are elated and honored to have been chosen as the center of Excellence and Innovation for our region!” Region VIII spans Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. “We are fortunate to work with entrepreneurs daily. We know that running a small business is no simple task and we are grateful to provide services that support entrepreneurship and small business” (Lisa Hudson). The SBDC network, in addition to many other programs, become the boots on the ground for the SBA. Together, this type of partnership positively impacts people, communities, and the economy. “Entrepreneurs throughout the state face many ongoing challenges every day making [East CO’s] accomplishments and efforts to support and strengthen small businesses especially significant and appreciated” (Frances Padilla, SBA Colorado District Director).

Each year, the Colorado SBDC network awards a Sponsor, Consultant and Volunteer of the Year. This year, East CO SBDC had the honor to award the Sponsor of the Year to its host of 12 years, the Monfort College of Business. East CO also awarded the Consultant of the Year to its very own Troy McCue (Lincoln County consultant). “We truly have an amazing and dedicated team! It’s a pleasure to celebrate the support and energy they bring to each small business owner and the communities we serve” (Lisa Hudson).

Over the past three years, East CO SBDC has worked with 1,529 clients providing 15,435 hours of consulting. Resulting in 72 business starts, 1,260 jobs supported, 28 million dollars of increased sales. As a conduit for resources small business often seek assistance to obtain financing. In a three-year span, East CO SBDC helped small business owners prepare for and obtain 49.1 million dollars.  

The East CO SBDC provides:

• Free, confidential one-on-one business consulting - available throughout the East CO’s 30 satellite locations spanning 13 counties in Colorado.

• Low-cost workshops and webinars on a variety of business topics - find local events at

• Connection to resources - Business owners will be able to tap into the SBDC community for resources in growing and managing their businesses.

Join us on Wednesday May 8th, 2019!

Happy Retirement, Kristi!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Fort Morgan

Celebrating one retirement and continued consulting

Greeley, CO: The East Colorado Small Business Development Center (East CO SBDC) is happy to congratulate Kristi Enninga on her retirement. Following Mrs. Enninga's retirement the East CO office at 300 Main Street in Fort Morgan will be limited to appointment only. 

After 21 years with the SBDC family and manning the Fort Morgan satellite office, Mrs. Enninga is ready for retirement. "Kristi is a cornerstone within the East Colorado family and will be missed immensely," says Lisa Hudson, Director. Kristi has served the SBDC in many capacities and has worked with five directors. Kristi most recently held the position of Administrative Specialist. She worked closely alongside both the East CO host, the Monfort College of Business, as well as several East CO partners, including the Fort Morgan Chamber of Commerce. "We have all appreciated working with Kristi. Not only is she an incredibly kind and thoughtful individual, but Kristi helped keep the East CO SBDC office moving during its many changes" (East CO Team). 

What will Enninga's retirement mean for entrepreneurs and business owners in Morgan County? Don't panic! Consulting services will still be available by appointment. Merle Rhoades, PhD, will continue to provide consulting services to Morgan County locally. Mr. Rhoades is an active member of the Fort Morgan Chamber of Commerce and liaison for the East CO SBDC when hosting events with Morgan Community Collegeand the chamber. Over the past three years, East CO SBDC has provided 975 hours of consulting in Morgan County resulting in 80 jobs supported, $1,448,931 sales increase, and $1,692,785 in capital formation. 

The East CO SBDC provides:
  • Free, confidential one-on-one business consulting with a local consultant that knows the requirements for businesses in their county.
  • Low-cost workshops and webinars on a variety of business topics. 
  • Connection to resources for growing and managing their businesses. 
East Colorado Small Business Development Center: East Colorado SBDC is one of 15 Colorado SBDC offices providing business planning resources to business owners and entrepreneurs in Colorado. The East Colorado SBDC provides free, confidential business consulting, low-cost trainings, and connection to resources. The UNC BizHub is a virtual business business incubator hosted by the East CO SBDC. The BizHub is a paid service on top of initial services provided through the SBDC. 

Applications open for 2019 Entrepreneurial Challenge

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Monfort College of Business seeks Colorado-based Entrepreneurs

Greeley, Colo. (September 17, 2018) - Entries into the 10th annual Monfort College of Business Entrepreneurial Challenge are being accepted through Nov. 5. 

The competition is open to pre-launch, or early-stage, Colorado-based startup ventures that began operation within the past two years. Finalists from previous years are not eligible to apply. 

The Entrepreneurial Challenge is designed to help entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. Participants will receive expert opinions, professional advice, and an opportunity to compete for a share of $50,000 in prize money. 

Applications are available at

In addition to the prize money, winners will receive business incubator services from UNC BizHub. Participants will have an opportunity designed specifically for entrepreneurs to address the most critical elements of success including finance, human resources, and marketing. 

"The knowledge from our judges, the input from our faculty at UNC, and the overall experience helps entrepreneurs succeed," said UNC Professor Dallas Everhart, Ph.D., director of the Entrepreneurial Challenge. 

Preliminary Challenge semifinalists will be notified on December 5th. Semifinalists will present their business concept to a panel of experts on February 13th. The finalists will be selected to present their business plan in a competitive format on April 3rd. 

For information about the program, contact Everhart at Questions regarding the application process can be directed to Kim Betz at

About the Monfort College of Business

The Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business at the University of Norther Colorado is recognized for delivering excellence in business education. The college has been accredited by AACSB International for 20 years - the "gold standard" for accreditation. The College is one of an elite few worldwide that are accredited in both business administration and accounting. Over 10 successive years MCB's graduating students have scored in the top 15 percent on nationwide standardized exit exams. It is the first and only business program to receive the Malcom Baldridge National Quality Award from the Office of the President of the United States (2004). For more information, visit MCB's website at

byCOLORADO: Badges to help brand your business

Monday, July 16, 2018

Are you a Colorado-based company? Are your products made, designed, or even grown in Colorado?

If so, then it is time to profess you Colorado roots! 


Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade designed the byCOLORADO Licensing Program to give Colorado companies an edge. OEDIT found that "92% of state residents say they
would buy more Colorado products if they were identified as being from Colorado."  


  • Colorado Company
  • Colorado Designed
  • Colorado Employer
  • Colorado Grown
  • Colorado Made
  • Colorado Non-profit
  • Colorado Raised


To join byCOLORADO, you will need to complete a request form. If your organization is approved, you'll receive a royalty-free licensing agreement and a full set of graphics files and brand standards.


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Are you looking to start a small business in Colorado? Small businesses make up 97% of all businesses in the state. According to the Small Business Association, small businesses in Colorado employ one million people, nearly half of the private workforce. Now, registering your business has just been made easier. 

MyBizColorado is designed to provide a user-friendly, streamlined experience to communicate with multiple agencies on essential business start-up activities. Participating agencies and partners include the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Regulatory Agencies, Governor's Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Governor's Office of Information Technology, Secretary of State's Office, the Statewide Internet Portal Authority, and Colorado Interactive. 

Colorado has a reputation for being a business-friendly state and is continuing to uphold its reputation with the release of MyBizColorado. The new system replaces a dated and cumbersome technology called Colorado Business Express. MyBizColorado is user-focused and is accessible on mobile platforms.

With MyBizColorado, you can:

  • Register for a sales tax license
  • Register employees for wage withholding
  • Register employees for unemployment insurance
  • Find resources to help plan a new business an obtain professional licenses

Discover more about MyBizColorado by watching this short video or start registering today.

2018 Colorado State Minimum Wage Increase

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Colorado State Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018 Minimum Wage: $10.20

Tipped Employee Minimum Wage: $7.18
In January 2017, Voters passed Amendment 70, effectively increasing Colorado's minimum wage standards annually by $0.90 each January until Colorado minimum wage reaches $12 per hour in 2020. The minimum wage will be adjusted thereafter annually for cost of living increases. 

The Division of Labor Standards and Statistics has adopted Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 34 effective January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018 to reflect the state minimum wage of $10.20 per hour. No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage of tipped employees. 

According to Section 15 of Article XVIII, of the Colorado Constitution, if either of the following two situations applies to an employee, then the employee is entitled to the $10.20 state minimum wage of the $7.18 state tipped employee minimum wage, effective January 1, 2018. 

1. The employee is covered by the minimum wage provisions of the Colorado Minimum Wage Order.
2. The employee is cover by the minimum wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employers covered by the Wage Order are required to post the Colorado Minimum Wage Order Poster. Vist Colorado Department of Labor and Employment of Colorado Minimum Wage Order 34 Poster and Fact Sheet.

unsplash-logo Rob Bye

New Year's Checklist for 2018

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Happy New Year! The end of the year has come and gone! The beginning of 2018 is a great time to review and plan your business and marketing efforts for the New Year. Ask yourself these key questions and set (or reset) measurable goals for the upcoming year!

Marketing Questions:

  1. Is my website up to date?
  2. Are all pages, submission forms, and links working properly?
  3. Are my brochures and business cards up to date with all contact information?
  4. Have I recently logged into all social media accounts to ensure all information is correct and there are no outstanding messages?
  5. Have I recently Googled my name and the name of my business? Ensure your website and correct contact information come up first!
  6. How is my business signage? Is it visible and up to code?
  7. What marketing tools generated my best clients? If you don't have metrics in place, establish them for 2018!
Business Strategy Checklist:
  1. Do I need to review and update my current business plan? (The answer is always YES! Every year!)
  2. Do I need a new business plan?
  3. Review your mission and vision statements with your team. Your team needs to believe your message from the inside, out. Does it need updating? 
  4. Review your goals from 2017. Did you hit your sales goals? Why? Why not?
  5. Review your messaging. Does your content and branding get people to take the action that you want them to take?
  6. Work with your team and SBDC Business Consultant to determine your answers. We encourage you to put them someplace visual to keep them in mind throughout the year.
  7. Most importantly, track your results and adjust your marketing sales strategies accordingly.
Call the East Colorado SBDC to set up an appointment so that we can assist you in meeting your business goals for 2018! 

Thank you to East Colorado SBDC consultant Craig Curl for this checklist! We hope you find it helpful for the year ahead! 

2018 BBB Spark Awards for Entrepreneurship Accepting Applications

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Spark Awards are the BBB's newest awards recognition program to celebrate emerging entrepreneurial businesses whose leaders demonstrate a high level of character, generate a culture that is authentic about its mission, and genuinely connects with their community. Applications and judging for the Spark Awards is based on three principles: Character, culture, and community. The Better Business Bureau is now accepting applications for the 2018 BBB Spark Awards for Entrepreneurship.


The Spark Award is open to for-profit organizations located within BBB Serving Nothern Colorado and Wyoming's service area. Business must be in operation for at least 6 months but no more than 3 years at the time of application (January 2018) Firms need not be BBB accredited but must be in good standing with BBB. 

Entry  Submission

Bring your entrepreneurial organization to life and tell the story of how your business lives out character, culture, and community through online written entries. There is also a required video testimonial component, 3-minute (max). This video should come from you and your team.

Question 1: Character

Explain how you have transformed as a leader, and how that has impacted your business. Because leaders are constantly aiming to grow and improve, share ways that you are planning to progress in the future.

Question 2: Culture

How do you articulate that you value your treasured employees and team? What sort of goals do your teams have, and how do they work together to create a supportive and honest atmosphere, while being purposeful and transparent?

Question 3: Community

How have you given back and shown to your community? Whether it's working with after-school programs or donating to a charity, what ways have you contributed to your community with your time and/or reinvested within your industry?

Video Submission

We want to hear your voice and get the STORY straight from your team! Rally your team and take up this cause on how your business embodies Character, Culture & Community!

Apply Online

Applications are due January 26, 2018. Apply at

Governor's Healthy Business Award Applications Open Statewide

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Governor's Healthy Business Award Applications Open Statewide

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) is accepting applications for the Governor's Healthy Small Business Award for 2017. Applications will be accepted from small businesses with fewer than 500 employees until Friday, December 15th, 2017. 

The award will honor one small business statewide making great strides supporting the Health and wellness of their employees, while simultaneously impacting their business vitality. The award advances the winner's reputation in the community by spotlighting its health and wellness efforts, which can assist in recruiting efforts in a competitive market statewide. 

Benefits of the Award:

  1. Governor's proclamation of being the healthiest small business in the state
  2. Press release from the Governor's office sent out to media outlets statewide
  3. Feature story on OEDIT's website ( and social media channels 
  4. Health and wellness consultations from OEDIT's Health and Wellness Strategist
Applicants will be evaluated on the business' health and wellness excellence, community involvement and collaboration, and evaluative outcomes. Final candidates will be evaluated through an on-site interview process by OEDIT. The winner will be recognized publicly at an award event. 

Applications will be accepted through Friday, December 15th at Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees located within the state of Colorado are eligible to apply for the Governor's Healthy Small Business Award.

For additional information visit Inquiries should be directed at Jamie Hackbarth, Health and Wellness Strategist, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, at

Applications open for 2nd Annual Colorado DEMO Day

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Applications Open for 2nd Annual Colorado DEMO Day

Do you want the opportunity to showcase in front of 100 investors in Silicon Valley?

You might want to consider applying for a booth at the 2nd Annual Colorado DEMO Day in Silicon Valley. Colorado companies or graduates of Colorado accelerators on a high growth path with revenue are welcome to apply. 

Innovation Pavilion and Colorado Technology Association are partnering with the Governor's Office and Metro Denver Economic Development for this exciting event. On November 14th in Silicon Valley, IP and CTA will host an all-day expo showcasing progressive CIOs from some of Colorado's leading companies. Over 100 VCs and angel investors from Silicon Valley will be there to engage with Colorado startup and high growth companies that will pitch for funding. The event will commence with a Talent Happy Hour session to celebrate Colorado's awesome companies with Silicon Valley techies. Interested companies can apply now! 

Date: Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Location: Plug and Play Tech Center, 440 N. Wolfe Rd., Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 100 Silicon Valley Angels and VCs 
  • Colorado-based company OR a Colorado accelerator company
  • High growth company growing at 20% per year
  • Must be making some revenue
  • IoT, Digital Health, Cyber Security, Aerospace and Ad-tech companies

Startup Application process: (less than 1 minute to apply)
  • If you want to participate, please submit your application for a booth at
  • A selection committee will select 20-30 most promising companies to be showcased
  • If selected, a fee of $1000 for companies under $5M in revenue, or $2,500 for companies over $5M in revenue will be collected