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The Economic Future Just Happened

Fact: Half of the businesses listed on the Fortune 500 were started in a recession.

—Kaufman Foundation, 2009

Major opportunities come with every shift in the status quo. Thursday, Aug. 19 is the date set for a gathering at Cuddy Hall in Lake of the Woods for the public to celebrate the arrival of a major ally for the entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits that are fighting to build a sustainable economic future for the Mountain Communities.

The event will be hosted by Angel Cottrell, who has relocated from Santa Barbara to the Mountain Communities, while still working with the Women’s Economic Ventures and Small Business Loan Fund staff (referred to as WEV).

The 20-year old group was so successful it outgrew its name long ago, serving men and women entrepreneurs, to help them develop skills and analytic tools for making wise choices regarding the future of their businesses. WEV has contracted with the 17-county Small Business Development Center regional network headed by Diane Howerton to bring the region’s southernmost satellite office to Frazier Park.

Local business people who kept showing up to Synergy Summit meetings initiated and coordinated by The Mountain Enterprise, and co-hosted with the Mountain Communities Chamber of Commerce, convinced Howerton that there is determination enough here to make this a showcase success for the SBDC program, Cottrell said.

Howerton doubled the projected budget for the first year of service and Cottrell has hit the ground running to line up services for local business owners.

“We have confirmed three free workshops with dates for the fall, and a flyer about them will be available at the event,” Cottrell said. She has already devoted 50 hours to providing free individual intake interviews and consulting with local business owners. She is also in the process of hiring and training consultants to serve this region. At the beginning of next year, a formal course in successful business planning will be offered.

—Reported by Patric Hedlund

This is part of the August 20, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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