SBDC hires disaster relief coordinator to help region recover from COVID-19

By Kiki Hooton
Southwest Colorado Small
Business Development Center

The Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is excited to announce the hiring of Kiki Hooton in the newly created position of disaster relief coordinator. This position will assist the SBDC in efforts aimed at supporting the economic recovery of small businesses across southwest Colorado recover from COVID-19. 

This hire was made possible by CARES Act Funding and the position will help the SBDC grow its workshops, trainings and resources for businesses to respond to the economic impacts from COVID-19. 

“Besides just helping businesses navigate PPP and EIDL funding, we want to help businesses pivot their business plans, identify new customers and get ahead of the challenges we expect to see through the fall and winter,” Mary Shepherd, Southwest Colorado SBDC director said. “SBDC continues to provide the boots-on-the-ground support for small businesses in the Four Corners area.” 

So far, the SBDC has helped businesses receive thousands in funding from PPP and EIDL loans, hosted workshops related to COVID-19, such as how frontline workers can have difficult conversations with customers and currently have several marketing workshops planned to help businesses prepare for the upcoming months. 

The SBDC will also continue to offer workshops for those looking to start a new business. 

“Turbulent times are often a period of change and opportunity and we are seeing a lot of people come in with new ideas or ideas that they’ve had on the back burner and are now ready to pursue. Now that COVID-19 has changed the economy, people are taking the leap into owning their own business, which is exciting to see” Hooton said. 

Have an idea for a workshop, training, or resource that you need in response to COVID? You can reach Hooton at kshooton@fortlewis.edu. 

About SBDC

The SBDC offers confidential, free to low-cost, objectives services to help your business succeed no matter what stage you’re in. From start-ups to growth companies, our expert advisors and instructors have many years of experience in all business topics assisting you to gain the knowledge and tools needed to be successful in these competitive times.

The territory served by this SBDC includes Archuleta County, Dolores County, La Plata County, Montezuma County, San Juan County, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.

Upcoming workshops

• Sept. 30: Having Difficult Conversations for Frontline Employees. Noon to 1:30 p.m. Online via Zoom. Interactive webinar with breakout sessions.

• Nov. 5: Starting your Business Workshop. 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Center of Innovation. In-person.

You can find the full schedule of upcoming workshops and register at: https://sbdcfortlewis.org/what-we-do/workshops/.

This story was posted on September 13, 2020.