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Only one week left to register for entrepreneur conference

During the next couple of weeks, there are some activities that concern local businesses, owners and managers should take part in as many as possible.

The fourth annual Colorado Entrepreneurship Marketplace is one of those activities.

At the beginning of the year, close to 90 business owners and other individuals wrote letters of support for our community to host the fourth annual Colorado Entrepreneurship Marketplace.

Many of those business owners indicated how great it would be to have the conference here in Pagosa Springs and said they wanted to attend.

As a reminder: There is only one week left for you to register for the conference. It is right around the corner — on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8, at the Pagosa Springs High School.

The conference is only $30 for one day’s attendance or $50 for both days. You will not see this price value for a conference of this caliber again anytime soon.

This cost includes access to more than 70 educational tracks; all meals, including continental breakfast, breaks, lunch and even the evening receptions. This event also gives locals the opportunity to visit with other business owners in our community — with businesses we take for granted and never have the time to visit. Tours will be conducted at the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Headquarters on Friday and at Growing Spaces on Saturday. Receptions will be held at Pagosa Brewing Co. on Friday and SHY RABBIT on Saturday.

If you are looking to start a business, grow your business or take your business to the next level, this is the conference for you, your manager or some of your employees. We highly encourage community leaders to attend some of the tracks; there will be speakers from other towns sharing success stories about expansion, funding sources and community development achievements.

Perhaps you want to see how you can maximize social networking. If so, we have several classes available, with tips on better social marketing efforts, mobile applications, website presence and design. If you are interested in geothermal energy, alternative energy or expanding your garden to a more sustainable “market,” we have classes for you. If you want to get a better handle on your finances, we have cash flow and lending sessions, and several educational tracks on budgeting.

This community worked hard to get The Marketplace held here in Pagosa Springs. Let’s now show our continued support by attending the conference. To register, go online to www.ruralcolorado.org. There is a list of all the classes and times. Thanks to Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Inc., there will be an iPad given away at the end of each day.

Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to attend a statewide conference, held for the first time noit only in our community but in southwest Colorado. Continue your support for Pagosa’s business community by attending the Entrepreneurial Marketplace.

If you would like to volunteer at any part of the conference for just a few hours, contact me at 264-2360 for more information.

SunDowner signups

Business signups for the 2012 season of Business After Hours or SunDowners will be held Monday, Oct. 3. Beginning at 8 a.m., the Chamber will take reservations for the SunDowners for 2012. The signups are handled on a first-come, first-served basis to reserve a particular month. Numbers will be placed on the Chamber porch early in the morning of Oct. 3. Interested parties can take a number to give them their place in line when the signups begin. If you have pulled a number and are not present when the lottery begins at 8 a.m., you will forfeit your place in line and therefore risk losing your preferred date.

SunDowners are great opportunities for new or expanded businesses, those with new locations, or renovated businesses, to show off services. SunDowners are a great opportunity for multiple businesses located near each other to join together, share the cost and host a SunDowner. A business that does not have storefront exposure can partner with a business that does, to give both businesses exposure. There are many reasons to host a SunDowner.

The business is responsible for providing the edibles. The food selection does not have to be elaborate, but should be inviting to the public. The Chamber provides all the beverages. SunDowners are typically held the fourth Wednesday of the month, except for November and December. There are also no SunDowners in January and September.

For more information about hosting a SunDowner or the sign-up process, contact me at the Chamber at 264-2360.

Marketing for Smarties

Right on the heels of the Entrepreneurship Conference, Marketing for Smarties begins its fall session on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

The program has three intense and interactive classes, lasting from 6 to 9 p.m. The subsequent two classes will be held Nov. 1 and 15. Marketing for Smarties is a unique business course that empowers entrepreneurs to become marketing thinkers and doers. These classes help owners break down their business, find their niche and market accordingly. The course is insightful, fun, and extremely hands-on and interactive.

The instructor this season is Marcy Mitchell, owner of MTECH and a veteran coach of Marketing for Smarties. Cost of the course is $149 and this includes all books and materials.

To register for the course, call 731-6325.

Membership

Congratulations to Len Stewart from Pagosa Springs, who will be filling the vacancy left by Terry Alley on the LPEA board of directors. We look forward to Len representing Archuleta County on the LPEA board.

We have one new member to welcome to the Chamber this week: Steel Structure America, Inc. They offer buildings, including garages, storage, shops and barns, with many alternatives in siding and roofing, wainscoting and cupolas for decorative options, and framing and insulation options including loft framing. They have financing available and a huge selection of building options that are convenient, affordable and tasteful. You can view their display at Ponderosa Lumber or call (970) 420-7100.

Our renewing members are Don and Mary McKeehan and Old West Press; Bill Schwab, with Piedra Automotive; Plaza Liquor; Growing Spaces; Liberty Theatre; The Cabins at Hartland Ranch; All Seasons Lake Lodge; and The Colorado Workforce Center.

Don’t forget to attend the opening of “INK,” another great exhibit at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts on Saturday, Oct. 1. Several of the artists will be in attendance to answer questions at the reception. The opening will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This show will be going on at the Entrepreneurial Marketplace with a reception at SHY RABBIT on Saturday, Oct. 8, as part of the conference and the reception is included in your conference ticket price.

Don’t forget to register for the Colorado Entrepreneurship Marketplace at www.ruralcolorado.org. Let’s support this conference that we worked so hard to get.

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