Technical assistance is a term often used in the economic development space to describe support, coaching or specialized skills needed to help small businesses. At First Southwest Community Fund, we know that access to capital or funding is only half the battle. Many of our rural small businesses need support with business plans, marketing, engineering plans, or other technical expertise.

With the help of programs like USDA’s Rural Business Development Grant and Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program, we are able to offer grant opportunities to small businesses to help them hire experts to scale or improve their businesses. Read below how we have helped two businesses in rural Colorado!

The Wyman Hotel, Silverton
The Wyman Hotel is a wonderful and modern contrast to Silverton, Colorado’s rugged mountains and Wild West charm. Located on Silverton’s main street, the 1902 landmark building has been reimagined with the comforts and amenities of an urban boutique hotel and is a welcoming, thoughtfully appointed space, perfect for artists, creatives, and adventurers. The Wyman Hotel applied for a grant to assist with developing a marketing strategy, targeting urban areas, to increase awareness around the incredible experiences and opportunities available in the Southwest region.

“The FSWCF technical assistance grant enabled us to afford a quality of technical assistance previously outside of our budget. We were able to engage a top tier media and marketing firm to help us develop a professional quality marketing strategy that will create additional value to both our business and the region. We could not be more grateful to FSWCF for supporting The Wyman Hotel.” Shane Fuhrman, The Wyman Hotel

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Camp V, Naturita
CampV is a new redevelopment hospitality project just outside of Naturita, Colorado in a township built in 1942 by the Vanadium Corporation and named Vancorum. The 120 acre property borders HWY 141, the San Miguel river and consists of 14 historic cabins that used to house the mining company workers. With the recent closure of the Tri State Power Plant, CampV was born to restore the historic cabins and provide new jobs and opportunities for the West End area that are rooted in outdoor recreation, art and hospitality. CampV has 12 newly remolded cabins, a historic artist in residence cabin, prime camping on the riverfront, glamping tents and plans for fully furnished Airstreams and a bathhouse. CampV is more than a place to stay, it’s a space to be inspired, to unplug, relax and retreat. The foundation for developing CampV is rural economic development and to bring new jobs and opportunity to the West End area.. Camp V applied for a technical assistange grant to get help from an HR professional to assist with a roadmap for recruiting, hiring, training and professional development.

“As a new start up and small business, technical assistance is crucial and often out of reach. Our HR consultant was able to get us organized legally, so that we could focus on other aspects of the business. It is so encouraging that these types of opportunities are available for small rural businesses, as we believe it’s the only way others can get this much needed assistance to get off the ground.” Natalie Binder, Camp V

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