Small-business guru to speak in Meeker |

Small-business guru to speak in Meeker

A Northwest Colorado business expert will speak in Meeker on Monday evening about small-town business development issues.

Scott Ford, business counselor with the Small Business Development Center at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs, will be the featured speaker at an open public forum at 7 p.m. at Kilowatt Korner

Ford’s primary message is that a community such as Meeker, with plenty of natural amenities, must do all it can to create a culture of small-business ownership that fosters and develops capacities to start, grow and maintain successful enterprises.

Ford, and his associates, call this approach to economic viability “economic gardening” whereby historic “core industries” including agriculture, natural resource extraction, and tourism are augmented in the current and future economy of the community with the growth of “location neutral businesses.”

Ford recommends helping those with the motivation and

capacity to better plan their business venture; facilitating access to capital; and actively assisting the business efforts.

Meeker Businesses in Action, the Meeker Chamber of Commerce, Town of Meeker, First National Bank of the Rockies, Mountain Valley Bank and an informal community resource group are co-sponsoring the event.

Wendy Gutierrez, MBA chairwoman, said bringing Scott Ford to Meeker “is exactly the sort of thing the MBA group should be doing.” Gutierrez added that she’s “very much looking forward to Scott’s presentation and hopes everyone interested in the Meeker area’s business future will plan to be there for his talk.”

Reed Kelley, a participant in the community resource group, said he was impressed with a presentation Ford gave in Craig recently. “His approach raises important questions for Rio Blanco County, like how do we assure that we have the services and social infrastructure necessary to grow and retain amenity-based businesses that are and could be located here?” Kelley said.

For more information, call Shelly Flannery at 878-5344 or Wendy Gutierrez at 878-3688.

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