Spring economic summit could help

Patrick Brower
Grand Initiative

An event that could be helpful to local entrepreneurs is taking place this coming Tuesday, June 13 at Snow Mountain Ranch / YMCA of the Rockies between Granby and Tabernash.

This event, called the “Spring Economic Summit,” is being put on in a cooperative effort by the Winter Park and Fraser Chamber of Commerce and the Grand County Department of Economic Development.

This event will be helpful on many levels and for many reasons.

Jeremy Kennell, economic development manager for the Winter Park / Fraser Valley Chamber, will be bringing the attendees up-to-date on the latest trends in the local economy, such as last winter’s occupancy, overall lodging and sales tax income trends, and will follow that with some projections about what’s in store in the coming months in those same areas. This is sure to inform.

Kennell will also remind attendees about the Grand Profile, an on-line resource he’s helped to compile that will provide information and economic stats that can help guide business strategy and spending decisions.

John Schallert, a renowned national authority on small business marketing and planning, will give a keynote address on how to make a business a destination location. He has advised businesses all around the country on how to make their ventures true destinations in the minds of consumers. Marketing tips, retailing advice, overall business conceptualization and the does and don’ts of customer interaction are just a few of the areas covered by Schallert. He has also been instrumental in helping many Grand County businesses in the last three years through his “Destination Bootcamp” series, offered with the help of Grand County and the Grand County Department of Economic Development.

Schallert will also give an informative talk on how businesses like most of the businesses in Grand County can be small but play large. He will instill new enthusiasm for being “small” and will give attendees information on how to leverage their small-business independence to influence consumer spending in their favor.

There will be a variety of business development workshops offered at this event. Kennell will present an overview of tools that can help organizations become more organized while reducing technology overhead and will review collaboration tools that allow for better communication and consistency.

DiAnn Butler, director of the Grand County Department of Economic Development, will work with authorities from Downtown Colorado Inc. on teamwork and leadership to give attendees great ideas on how unified leadership motivated by a company-wide set of agreed-upon values can make businesses succeed in ways they hadn’t imagined. This leadership focus will be especially pertinent for tourism-oriented and destination type businesses where there’s plenty of direct customer interaction.EndFragment I’ll be helping out with presentations on how to develop key metrics for businesses and how to use financial statements and profit and loss statement to evaluate a business and plan for the future. There will also be a session on access to capital and funding. This would include a realistic assessment of funding options and will explore local community funding sources for loans or even cosmetic improvements for a business.

Making all of these presentations worthwhile will be afternoon “hands-on” sessions where entrepreneurs can present real-life, specific example of business problems and issues to the people presenting at the event.

Local entrepreneurs who aren’t too busy should try to attend this Spring Economic Summit. Who knows, we all might learn a thing or two.

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He provides free and confidential business management coaching for anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached at 970-531-0632 or at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.