Twenty-two new businesses were started, sales growth of $5.3 million for businesses, and $12.4 million in capital growth for businesses – these are part of the economic impact results generated by the Larimer Small Business Development Center in 2014.

The center reported its numbers today.

Mike O'Connell

Mike O’Connell

“It was a good year, 2014,” said Mike O’Connell, Larimer SBDC director. “With the 2014 business openings, that makes 64 new-business starts since 2012.”

One of the 2014 new businesses was the Fox and the Crow, a wine and cheese shop in midtown Fort Collins.

“My business started with just an idea, and the SBDC helped me make it a reality,” said Tina Mooney, store owner. The business opened in November 2014.

Businesses like Mooney’s drive job growth.

“Small businesses are directly responsible for a large percentage of overall job growth,” O’Connell said. “Our clients have created and retained more than 700 jobs over the past three years, which is a big boost to the local economy.”

Larimer SBDC clients also grew their aggregate sales by a record $5.3 million over 2013, the largest increase ever for the center.

Magic Bus Tours contributed to the record. Magic Bus Tours increased sales by 150 percent in its second year of operation. “Our success would not have been possible without the support and resources of the SBDC,” said Michael Murphy, company owner.

The Larimer SBDC also works closely with commercial banks, micro-lenders, and other resource partners to match clients’ funding needs with the right financial provider.

“Between 2012 and 2014, we helped our clients harness more than $12.4 million of capital formation for business growth,” O’Connell said.

The center provided free business consulting to more than 540 clients in 2014, a 62 percent increase over 2013.

“Almost 20 percent of those clients were women-, veteran-, or minority-owned businesses,” said Terri Donovan-Keirns, Larimer SBDC program coordinator. “Our consultants brought general and specialized business advice to these clients.”

The center also conducted 81 training classes covering financial, marketing, business planning, and business start-up processes.

About Larimer SBDC

The Larimer SBDC is hosted by Front Range Community College. The SBDC provides free one-on-one confidential consulting conducted by experienced business professionals, and conducts trainings/workshops covering a broad range of business issues. The Larimer SBDC is located in The Innosphere business incubator at 320 East Vine, Fort Collins. For further information, go to or call 970-498-9295.

About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers nearly 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, and Brighton, and online.

FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.

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