Small Business Starts Here
Small businesses are the engine that drives local economies. These businesses create jobs, spark innovation, and support families. According to the U.S Small Business Administration, Small businesses of 500 or fewer employees make up 99.9% of all U.S businesses.
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade notes that in 2022, Colorado had a total of 690,000 small businesses, which account for 99.5% of all Colorado businesses and employ nearly half of the state employees. Small businesses in Colorado have also taken a lead in exports from the state. The figures by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative show that in 2016, a total of 5,582 companies exported from Colorado; of those, 4,857 (87%) were small and medium-sized enterprises. These firms generated 28.1% of Colorado’s total exports of goods in 2016.
Small businesses bring careers and opportunities and contribute to the growth of our local economy through paychecks and taxes. The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Catalyst Campus, and Exponential Impact, connect entrepreneurships and startups with key resources to help them launch, grow, and expand.
Supporting growth in small businesses
The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is one of the 14 statewide centers focused on helping Colorado’s small businesses achieve their goals. The Pikes Peak SBDC supports small businesses in the Pikes Peak region through the provision of small business consulting and low- or no-cost training to help them start and grow.
The Pikes Peak SBDC connects small businesses with essential resources that maximize the economic potential of entrepreneurs and helps clients minimize risks through comprehensively written business plans, conducting financial forecasts, strategizing on marketing tactics, funding applications, and improving business operations. The SBDC also connects small business owners with resources and financing available through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT.)
The SBDC’s office is located at Catalyst Campus.
Putting the best foot forward
Members of the Colorado Springs Chamber can contribute to the small business community’s voice through the Small Business Advisory Council. This group pools resources to grow businesses within the community, while also forging connections between company leadership.
The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center provides trainings and workshops with various tracts including financial, marketing, start-up and management/legal. Additionally, several annual events are held, including a cybersecurity summit and the state of small business event.
Connect is a monthly lunch and learn (sponsored by The Picnic Basket) focusing on a small business topic that removes the big rocks in the way of business success. Explore 2022 topics here.
Breakfast & Business cards is a great way to connect with other business owners in an informal setting. Each month focuses on a different industry, hosted by members around town. Explore 2022 networking breakfasts here.
Small Business Advisory Council meetings gather representatives from different industries to learn more about what the Chamber & EDC are doing to help businesses innovate and grow. If you are considering SBAC membership, visit one of our meetings.
Business development events and initiatives keep Colorado Springs small businesses strong
Colorado Springs’ downtown stores and businesses are kept strong by numerous events and business development initiatives that take place throughout the year. In 2013, Colorado Springs initiated the City for Champions (C4C), a city-wide program focused on strengthening and diversifying the local economy. The enterprise was awarded $120.5 million over a 30-year period to finance economy-building projects like the U.S. Olympic Museum, the Gateway Visitor Center and several new stadiums and arenas. These investments have created a vibrant downtown with increased support that benefits local small businesses.
Additionally, the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region hosts their annual Arts Month in October, giving local artists and small businesses an opportunity to showcase their offerings.
Guiding Your Business Every Step of the Way
COS Open For Biz is a step-by-step guide designed to help entrepreneurs move from great idea to grand opening. This Chamber & EDC resource, developed in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs and business partners, provides key points of contact, permitting details, and roadmaps for getting started.