Mariana Raftopoulos business incubator grand opening Friday

Nauman-Cook: Everyone is welcome

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Who: The Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership

What: Grand opening of The Mariana Raftopoulos Business Incubator and One Stop Business Center

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower, 50 College Drive

For more information, call 620-4370.

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“We want to let everybody know that we’re here and that the incubator is a resource for anyone interested in business,” Nauman-Cook said. “People of all ages — whether they’re brand new to the business world, serial entrepreneurs or existing business owners — are encouraged to attend. Everyone is welcome.”

Betsy Nauman-Cook, director of the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership

Friday marks the official grand opening of the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership’s business incubator.

Named in honor of a late Craig resident and former county commissioner Mariana Raftopoulos, EDP Director Betsy Nauman-Cook said Friday’s event is all about growing business in Moffat County.

"It’s an honor to the family, and Marianna’s legacy of spurring growth and community involvement," she said.

The grand opening of The Mariana Raftopoulos Business Incubator and One Stop Business Center takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower, 50 College Drive.

The event is being hosted in conjunction with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and will feature a mixer/light luncheon and an open house.

A ribbon cutting will take place at 12:30 p.m., Nauman-Cook said.

“We want to let everybody know that we’re here and that the incubator is a resource for anyone interested in business,” Nauman-Cook said. “People of all ages — whether they’re brand new to the business world, serial entrepreneurs or existing business owners — are encouraged to attend. Everyone is welcome.”

Though Friday marks the official opening the business incubator, it has been in operation since February.

In that time Nauman-Cook said she has counseled 45 existing businesses and more than 70 budding entrepreneurs, from both within Craig City limits and throughout Moffat County.

“People can come to the incubator even if their idea is just a little sparkle in their eye,” Nauman-Cook said. “It’s not always a success, but we’ve had some really great successes too. There’s definitely a lot of potential out there.”

Nauman-Cook said she loves working with people who have a new idea for a business, but doesn’t want the existing business community to think the incubator is exclusively for startups.

“It’s so much more successful for us to help existing businesses grow and be stronger. That retention aspect is huge,” Nauman-Cook said. “We want existing businesses to know we are here for them too.

“The mission of the EDP is to improve the economy for the entire county. Startups are great, but if we can help existing businesses grow that keeps good paying jobs right here in Moffat County.”

For more information, call 620-4370.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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