Delta County Economic Development (DCED) and Region 10 are partnering to create a new business center and community hub for Delta. To kick off this collaboration, these two organizations moved into the former Bank of Colorado building located at 145 W. 4th Street. The goal is to create a unique space that provides an array of services from small business services to health care counseling.
Hoping to tap into the entrepreneurial spirit of Delta, the building will offer small business support and economic development activities. "What we want to do is have more activities, education and resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups," stated Trish Thibodo, executive director of Delta County Economic Development.
Region 10's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host business-oriented programming in the new space. Free business consultation is available for small business owners who are seeking assistance with their marketing, finances or other business-related issues. In addition to consultation, classes and seminars will be readily available. For October, classes regarding social media marketing and business law are already scheduled. Information about the classes is available at www.region10.net/smallbusiness.
DCED will continue its work on countywide projects designed to create and retain jobs. The most pressing issue championed by the organization is broadband development. Working closely with Region 10, which recently received a $5.2 million grant for broadband, DCED has been actively engaging with the county and municipal governments on planning and implementation of the recently released Broadband Blueprint (available to review at www.region10.net/broadband).
In addition to business and economic development, the new space will also provide services that benefit the elderly and disabled. Two prominent Region 10 programs -- the Aging and Disability Resources of Colorado (ADRC) and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) -- will be available in the new space.
ADRC specializes in providing information and access to the services that aging and disabled community members need to be self-sufficient. ADRC Options counselor Jan Waggoner, whose diverse professional background includes a significant amount of time in the health care industry, will be the resident counselor.
Waggoner covers all of Delta County so she spends a significant amount of time out in the field, making house visits.
"Our county is aging, and more and more people have unique needs," Waggoner said. "I'd like to help people remain happy and independent in their home, because there is no place like home."
Waggoner is available to meet Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Region 10 office at 249-2436.
Sharing office space with ADRC, SHIP provides free counseling and support for Medicare recipients. With questions that cover a wide range of complexities --from Part D prescription drug coverage to claims appeals -- Medicare counseling often necessitates the need for individual attention. SHIP counselor Anne Britton will be available on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 970-765-3132.
The buzz about co-working spaces -- like The Hive in Paonia and the Proximity Space in Montrose -- initially inspired the partnership. Though the new partnership is not currently structured like a traditional co-working space, Thibodo is optimistic that this model will develop in the future as the partnership evolves and grows.
"We are not going to be like The Hive," Thibodo continued. "But if we start to be a spot where people are sharing ideas and expertise, we can be an important community asset regardless."
As both groups grow into the new location, Thibodo encourages community members to stop by, visit and share their ideas for how the space can be best utilized. Walk-ins are welcomed or interested parties can contact Thibodo at firstname.lastname@example.org.