Fort Collins, Colo. – Upcoming changes at the Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will benefit local businesses and the area economy. The SBDC provides street-smart business education, through free one-on-one confidential consulting, low-cost classes, and connection to useful resources.

Out of 14 SBDC centers in Colorado, the Larimer center is consistently one of the state’s top performers. In 2018, the Larimer SBDC helped clients within the county increase their sales by $24.8 million, and secure $18 million in capital funding for their businesses.

So what’s changing? Larimer SBDC’s current director Mike OConnell has been promoted to senior director. In this new, higher-profile role, he now reports directly to the vice president of FRCC’s campus in Fort Collins.

“By streamlining our reporting structure, the SBDC will be able to more directly impact businesses right here in northern Colorado,” said Jean Runyon, vice president of the college’s Larimer campus. “This tightens the connection between our local SBDC and FRCC’s Larimer campus, while helping both organizations evaluate and focus on how best to serve northern Colorado entrepreneurs.”

“FRCC students and alumni in certain programs are highly likely to work for—or start—a small business in our area,” OConnell pointed out. “Having the SBDC more closely connected to the Larimer campus gives us better access and outreach to potential clients, and improves an already strong long-term relationship.”

Last year, the Larimer SBDC:

  • Helped launch 61 new businesses.
  • Helped existing clients add 308 jobs, and keep an additional 753 jobs in the county.
  • Provided more than 4,500 hours of free consulting to 949 local clients.
  • Hosted 101 classes for more than 1,200 local participants.
  • Want to know more? Read the Larimer SBDC’s 2018 annual report.

For more than 50 years, FRCC has supported small businesses and local entrepreneurs in Front Range communities through helpful instruction, technical training, and expanding/educating the local workforce. FRCC also provides specialized training customized for businesses through its Corporate Solutions division. The college provides continuing education for working adults, and has hosted the Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for more than 31 years.

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About Front Range Community College

FRCC offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs from locations in Boulder County, Larimer County, Westminster, Brighton, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System.

About the Colorado Community College System

The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, serving 138,000 students annually at 13 colleges and 39 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities.

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