(La Junta, CO) --- It's Small Business Week and there's no better time to move forward with starting one.
Otero County Economic Development Director Danelle Berg spoke this week to a group of community members on a program called Otero Partners Incorporated that helps businesses get started or stay on track. Berg explained it serves communities within Otero and Las Animas counties.
The main resource available is help for small businesses with loans. Berg said this could be new businesses, existing businesses or those who want to be in business. The federally funded program is able to distribute the help through community development block grants.
When small businesses pay back the loan, the funds are then placed into a fund where continued help for them can be pursued.
Berg states to get going businesses would apply at a website, here is the link to that, http://www.oteropartnersinc.com/.
Then, after applying online, a decision is made, a loan packet is put together and sent to a review committee. A board of directors will then decide on the funding to the business. If a business gets the green light to go ahead, a session is planned with Berg.
There are requirements for the business to report on a quarterly basis to the board on items such as providing financial information. "That's so that we can continue to help you, it's not checking up on you as much as it's if we see something that you might be able to do better we can get back in touch with you and work on that process on your behalf." Berg said.
She says there's interest. "There are more and more entrepreneurs looking to start businesses." There are 12 to 15 loans requested already.