Roaring Fork Business Resource Center building service network
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A new nonprofit organization aimed at giving area businesses the tools to survive and thrive now has an official office, and is ready to take the next step in developing its mission.
Randi Lowenthal, president and CEO of the Roaring Fork Business Resource Center (RFBRC), was recently awarded $10,000 from the city of Glenwood Springs and in May was given $25,000 from Garfield County to establish the center. Other area governments and chambers of commerce have also contributed start-up funding, and a number of state, federal and foundation grants are in process.
“We just finished implementing our virtual technology services and are now looking for businesses interested in becoming sponsors, mentors to other businesses, or members of our advisory council,” said Lowenthal, the former Carbondale Chamber of Commerce director, who left earlier this year to start the RFBRC.
A Wednesday open house at the center’s new office in Glenwood Springs is geared toward the next phase of the project, which entails building a network of sponsors and mentors to work with client businesses.
The open house will be from 4:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at 817 Colorado Ave. #107 (next to the post office).
Representatives of any business or nonprofit organization who want to find out more about being a mentor or be part of the RFBRC’s advisory council are encouraged to attend.
Lowenthal said most of her efforts during July and August will be focused on building the service network.
The RFBRC will serve as a central referral agency that can direct business owners to the specific kinds of services they need, whether it’s help starting up a new business, modernizing an existing business, ways to obtain capital, or education and technology services.
A network of resource providers will serve as an advisory council, which will work to create a customized business program for clients. Established business owners can also act as mentors for newer businesses.
The center is expected to be open to clients by early September.
Though headquartered in Glenwood Springs, the RFBRC service area will stretch from Parachute to Aspen, touching on three counties and encompassing nine towns and cities.
Lowenthal has also enlisted the help of Colorado Mountain College, which is making available its campuses between Rifle and Aspen for a variety of services.
The town of Carbondale, in addition to contributing $10,000 this year and $12,500 in each of the next two years, agreed to resurrect the town’s dormant revolving loan fund for the RFBRC to administer. Lowenthal is also in the discussions with Rifle, Basalt and Aspen about funding. To find out more, visit the RFBRC website at http://www.rfbrc.org.
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