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AEDA offers free certified SBDC mentoring

Within these trying economic times, qualified and solid business advice and guidance is essential to business growth. However, many local business owners feel they cannot afford to hire business consultants to fill that gap. They don’t have to. The Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA) provides free mentoring services and business training as part of their non-profit mission to support our local business community.

As the only certified Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) mentoring organization in Archuleta County, Joe Keck, director of the Southwest Colorado SBDC stated that the joint counseling with AEDA Executive Director Bart Mitchell “has extended our ability to meet client needs significantly.”

For the past three years, the AEDA and the Southwest Colorado SBDC have expanded their partnership to provide joint counseling of existing and start-up businesses in Archuleta County. Since Jan. 1, 2007, the partnership has provided business counseling to over 50 clients in the county.

Keck said “Bart brings a lot of experience in working in the corporate as well as the small business world to our counseling sessions.” “Clients receive the benefit of both of our business experience according to Keck.”

In addition, AEDA works with the SBDC to expand our small business workshops and seminars by partnering up to offer the Leading Edge NxLevel for Entrepreneurs business plan training, and the Marketing for Smarties series workshops. The AEDA in partnership with the SBDC will be launching a new financial class very soon, and the two organizations have also partnered with the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce to offer a customer service class that will be launching by the end of the year. Keck stated that, “Bart Mitchell is a great partner in making sure we have small business counseling and training programs in Archuleta County. We couldn’t serve 50 percent of the clients we do without the partnership with Bart and the AEDA.”

As a board member of the Region 9 Economic Development District, the Growth Company Initiative, the SBDC Advisory Network and a member of the Business Advisory Network (BAN), Mitchell also connects local business owners to regional resources. AEDA provides strategic consulting, business financial assistance, marketing and research assistance, industry and economic data, relocation assistance, Enhanced Enterprise Zone tax credits and networking opportunities that help owners develop strategic relationships in the community.

If you are interested in finding out more or scheduling a free confidential mentoring session,contact Bart Mitchell at 731-1443 or e-mail: info@aedaed.org.