PEP Considers Developing New Funding Group ala “Shark Tank


Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP) President, Aaron Leiker, suggested board members consider inviting groups or individuals to meet with prospective business developers for potential financing. Leiker explained the idea during the monthly board meeting held in Granada this past Tuesday, June 5th.   He said the group would be similar to ABC’s “Shark Tank” and would offer some limited financing and assistance if they felt the proposed venture was risk-worthy.

He explained that for those interested parties, there could be a follow-up meeting where possibilities for business development were explored in greater detail. Board member, Brenda May, said the concept would help save time from having to meet individually with potential funding representatives.  Leiker said the banking partners would include those already invested with Prowers Economic Prosperity.

Another similar proposal was voiced which would involve Prowers County groups or residents who would be willing to offer financial aid to a small business that was looking to develop in the county. Leiker noted the idea was presented by George Pendleton of the Legacy Bank.  He added, “There’s a lot of money in Prowers County and some of those people might want to see as their legacy, that they helped build economic development in Prowers County.”

Eric Depperschmidt, Executive Director of PEP, provided updates for some on-going prospects and business development in the county. He said PEP has received a draft of the hotel feasibility study conducted in the community this past spring.  “We expect to provide you (the board) with a hard copy edition by the end of the month.”   An incentive package from Prowers County should be ready to be presented to the proposed dairy farm in Holly in about a month.  A food processing company that plans to hire from 20 to 30 persons hopes to acquire land for their operation by sometime in October with a planned groundbreaking event.  Prowers County has also been under review by a different food processing company from the Denver area as they are seeking a suitable location.

Depperschmidt said the board roundtable meetings will resume at the end of the month, once the approaching Rural Philanthropy Days events have taken place, scheduled for three days next week in Lamar. Quarterly PEP outreach meetings are still being held with the next one scheduled for Holly this month.

Separate or sub-committee meetings were also briefly discussed, focusing on subjects not currently covered by the roundtable groups. Dr. Linda Lujan, LCC President, recommended they be sent to board members and prioritized by importance so too many don’t get started too quickly and lose their effectiveness.  A suggestion was also made to give thought to a group similar to the national SCORE organization, Service Corps of Retired Executives, which could offer on-point business experience to a developing, local enterprise.  Board member, Anne-Marie Crampton said the nearest SCORE office is located in Pueblo.

The next PEP board meeting is set for July 3rd in Lamar.

By Russ Baldwin

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


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