Education & Workshops

Community Reinvention, 2020

A Clear Vision for Creating Pathways to Opportunities!

The Grand County Economic Development Department strives to create a sustainable, versatile and resilient Entrepreneurial Climate in all of Grand County. To that goal, the department has a year-long Community Reinvention unified slate of programs for 2020.

January: Market and Product Analysis:  Offered through GCHEI

Learn more about Grand County Higher Education Initiative

View January Classes

February:  Business Plans and Business Planning 

The goal is to establish one such group that can work together through the DreamBuilder program so they can all have real-world business plans in hand by the end of the program.

Whether seeking financing for a new or existing venture or just to help an entrepreneur understand his or her business, business plans and business planning in general are keys for success.


In the month of February, entrepreneurs throughout the county will be introduced to the unique, versatile and easy-to-use Dreambuilder on-line business plan development platform.

DreamBuilder offers online courses that teach participants the skills and knowledge to start or grow their own businesses. Courses are interactive, convenient for the busy schedules of entrepreneurs and available in both Spanish and English. Best of all, the Dreambuilder courses are free.

Dreambuilder is a 13-week on-line program. It empowers business owners and prospective business owners through free online entrepreneurial training. The software allows a participant to build a business plan “organically” while proceeding through the easy-to-follow modules. The program works even for people for whom writing is a challenge, delivering an end-product that is well-written and which reflects the true desires of the entrepreneurs while keeping the dreams in a business framework.

The program will be offered as an on-line 13 week and 6 weeks (every other) of group meetings and personal one on one consulting.

March:  Access to Capital

It costs money to start or expand a business. That’s just as true in Grand County as it is anywhere.

So what are the realities about getting access to capital in Grand County and how to small businesses get start-up capital when they don’t have an existing business and an existing track record that is needed to satisfy traditional bank lending.


The reality of working and start-up capital for most small businesses here. Do you have money in the bank to pay for the operations of your business for at least the first six months?

Do you have a day job? Can you keep that job until your new venture takes off?

The Truth about Angel investing and web-based fund-raising campaigns.

The value of Friends and Family.

And yet, there are local lending sources that aren’t only banks.

Grand County business and Economic Development Association.

Northwest Colorado Loan Fund.

How to work with traditional banks for the cash needed to get going or expand.

Local and regional investment groups.


April:  Regulatory Licenses and Insurance Requirements

Learning how to set up your business and meet the legal requirements

Do you hire a lawyer or go it alone?

The Colorado Secretary of State and incorporating and establishing and declaring your business name or brand.

Paying taxes.

The huge dilemma of figuring out how to pay sales taxes for products sold to people who live in other sales tax jurisdictions, where there are many different sales tax structures. Is it worth it?

What sort of insurance should I have? Insurance expert will explain what’s needed to get by and to protect owners and the business from rapacious liability concerns.

What about Unemployment insurance and workman’s comp?

Learn about these issues in the last week of April.

May: Employees or Independent Contractors?

Learn how to determine what is needed in deciding if workers should be contract labor or employees. Learn the pros and cons of each option. In some cases, employers have no choice.

What about foreign employees?

Learn the ins and outs of hiring part-time, non-U.S. Citizens who want to work in your company.

June:  Right time to Expand My Business? 

Learn some tips and recommendations on the best way to determine if the time has come to expand your business.

Do you hire more employees?

Can you hire more employees?

Can you expand on the ideas to expand through marketing to justify either capital investment for expansion or staff growth to accommodate expansion.


July:  Location Neutral Businesses

What is a location neutral business?

Why are they seen as ideal for Grand County and how can we get to know who they are.

Learn about an existing group, Grand Innovators, and how they help connect innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the county.


August:  Growing Community, Civic Leadership

Business don’t exist in a vacuum. For businesses to function well they need to be a part of an ecosystem of government regulation, government-provided infrastructure and government provided assistance.

This comes about through the imagination and ambition of our local elected officials at the state, county and municipal levels.

It also comes about through the excellent system of volunteer organizations, non-profits and service clubs in the county.

Learn about them all at the Community and Civic Leadership session.


September:  Annual Economic Development Summit

The annual Grand Economic Development Summit brings in experts in demographics, business trends, employment and housing.

What’s going to happen with tourism and our local population in the future?

How is business going to grow in our resort / rural economy that is unique to Grand County?

What’s the best way to respond to the challenge of finding good and lasting employees.

Where will our workers live and what’s being done to address that question.


October:  Is it time to Sell Your Business? 

Exit strategies and having a plan for the continuation of the end of your business.

There are times when business owners aren’t aware that their business is a commodity that can be sold so it can continue into the future. How to determine a business value. How to determine if it’s worth trying to sell.

Are their employees or family members who’d like to continue on with the business so as to keep the services, products and jobs in the local community.


November:  Local Small Business Impact to Our Economy 

Learn that almost all of the businesses in Grand County Are small businesses. Learn that these small businesses employ more people that the “big” businesses. See how small business is the real driver of our local economy.Celebrate these small businesses and learn about a Shop Local Campaign coming into the holidays 

December:  Happy Holidays