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Small Business Development Center Office Planned for LCC

 

PEP Executive Director Eric Depperschmidt

Pending receipt of a grant, Lamar Community College could host a Small Business Development Center office with a part time manager to start, according to Eric Depperschmidt, Executive Director for Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP).

“The Office of Economic Development and International Trade offers a three year grant up to $30,000 to provide a salary and marketing funding,” he told the Prowers County Commissioners recently. The SBDC is currently managed by Rachel Patrick whose territory includes nine counties in southeast Colorado.  The nearest SBDC office is located at Otero Junior College.  The introduction of a new office at LCC would help to serve clients in this part of the county and if there’s enough interest, the college could become a lasting partner, he explained.  If that becomes an option, either PEP or the City of Lamar, or a combination of shared costs could be a workable plan.  Depperschmidt explained only two such grants will be awarded this year.  If Lamar is approved, he said the new office could expand services to include Baca and Kiowa Counties.

The recent community housing assessment has been completed and a report is expected by the end of August. “We can expect to see some changes as the last one was done ten years ago,” he said, adding there was an 83% occupancy rate on rental housing and expects the new figures to be higher.  The information will be used to determine how available state or federal funding could be applied to the local housing market.

“Our roundtable discussions have fallen off over the summer, but I expect they will resume later this fall,” he explained. PEP board members and interested parties have been holding monthly information meetings on the county’s housing, manufacturing, service, retail and health assessment.  The meetings are seeking information that can be used for future business development.  Depperschmidt said he plans to hold PEP business office hours in Holly in the near future, perhaps one or two afternoons a month beginning in August, so the office is more accessible to county residents.

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeatured

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