Thursday, December 4, 2008


As part of his continued focus on Colorado's economy, Gov. Bill Ritter today announced a series of statewide Small Business Finance Forums to help small businesses survive the ongoing financial crisis.
Starting Dec. 11 in Pueblo, the six free forums – "Surviving Tough Times: Counseling, Tools and Resources for Small Businesses" – will give small businesses direct, one-on-one access to federal, state and local governments, local financial institutions, and other business assistance organizations. These groups will be providing Small Business Toolkits, counseling and other information about available resources to guide business owners through the downturn.
"Small businesses are the backbone of Colorado's economy," Gov. Ritter said. "Colorado has a much higher concentration of small businesses than other states, and it's vital we do all we can to help them survive this national financial crisis. These forums will bring together a wide range of experts, services, information and other resources, all geared toward small business assistance."
The forums will operate like an open house, with doors open for six hours. On-site registration will be offered, but advanced registration is encouraged by visiting or e-mailing to request a registration form.
The first two forums are scheduled for:
·         7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 11, Pueblo Community College, Fortino Ballroom, 900 W. Orman Ave., Pueblo.
·         7 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 16, Auraria Campus, Tivoli Turnhalle, 900 Auraria Pkwy., Denver.
Subsequent forums will be held in Grand Junction, Durango, Colorado Springs and the Fort Collins/Greeley region. Exact dates and locations will be announced as they become available.
For additional information about business assistance and development opportunities, click here.
The small business forums are part of Gov. Ritter's emphasis on helping Coloradans and Colorado businesses survive the fiscal crisis. Other measures Gov. Ritter has undertaken:
·         Declaring Nov. 20 "Keep Colorado Working Day," which featured job fairs and hiring events around the state, as well as open houses at all 62 Colorado Workforce Development Centers.
·         Proposing a $12 million state investment in job growth, job training and business assistance through the budget process
·         Ramping up public-awareness and promotional efforts for the Connecting Colorado website -- -- which, for no charge, allows companies to post job openings and job-seekers to review those listings.
·         Advising President-elect Obama, his transition team and Colorado's delegation on the need for transportation and energy infrastructure investments in the economic stimulus and recovery package now under consideration, as a means to create new jobs.
·         Aggressively recruiting new jobs, businesses and investments to Colorado, including leading an economic-development mission to Japan and China that focused on promoting Colorado's New Energy Economy and bioscience, tourism and air-travel sectors.
·         Proposing the "Healthy Forests/Vibrant Communities Act of 2009," which includes  funding to create new jobs in the production of biomass, biofuel and bioheating products from beetle-kill trees and other hazardous fuels being cleared fromColorado's forests.
·         Pursuing an overall business-development strategy of building a knowledge-based, 21st-century economy around the most-promising growth sectors of energy, aerospace, bioscience, technology and tourism.