Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center

Amy Long purchased Por Dia Preschool & Learning Center sixteen years ago. Por Dia is licensed to serve up to 60 children. They offer daily preschool, toddler care, and before/after school care. Long approached Joe Keck for help in expanding her Toddler program. Beginning in August of 2011, they worked together for six to eight months. “Joe personally came by my business to consult with me, and we met at the SBDC office at the Cortez Chamber of Commerce building, plus communicated through emails.

Since Por Dia is a for-profit business, there are not many grant opportunities available. Joe Keck put Long in touch with grant writer, Nicole Fabrey who researched grant options, but was unable to get funding. Keck also suggested she contact Carolina Perky through the Department of Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This agency helped fund expanding the preschool to include toddlers, and provided funding to install ramps and new carpet in the expanded Toddler area.
“Having ramps is a State licensing requirement; therefore, I had to remodel the building,” Long explains. “My long term goal was always to utilize the whole building and make it all a school. I had to do it in steps that were the best financially.” SBDC Business Advisor, Nancy Schaufele helped to formulate the business plan and worked with Long to finalize the numbers to make sure the expansion was a sound business decision. “This expansion really increased the revenue and supported many more families in the community by providing toddler care for those in need. I am now able to take more children and serve families that have children of varying ages.”

Por Dia accepts many programs to help families afford quality child care, such as, Colorado Head Start, Navajo Nation, Colorado Pre-School, and CCAP – Colorado Child Assistance Program.

“I want to thank Joe Keck for telling me about so many resources and people who were helpful in expanding my business. I appreciate all the help he gave me to make my business a success and allow me to serve more families.

“I also want to thank Tom Comisky who constructed the cement ramps and Angel from Angel’s Flooring out of Farmington who redid the flooring for the expansion. These are just some of the people that helped me complete a much needed addition to offer affordable child care in Montezuma County. There is a great need for infant and toddler care in this community.”

Finn’s Wurst Sausage

            Greg and Finn Hopkins are a father and son team that created Finn’s Wurst Sausage.  Finn came up with the idea to sell authentic German bratwurst from a New York City styled hot dog cart during a brainstorming session with his dad.  The purpose of the business is to advance Finn from employee to owner.  Finn is autistic.  His experience in the food service industry has been as a dishwasher, prep cook and busser. 

Read More »
Alpine Medical

Tabitha Zappone loves the conveniences in Pagosa Springs and considers it a “big city with coffee shops and restaurants.” Before moving to Pagosa, she and her husband both worked in a hospital in rural Alaska, in the town of Bethel. He is an Emergency Room nurse and she is a Nurse Practitioner. The two served people from 57 villages. “They would come in on dogsleds, four wheelers or small airplanes. In the winter it would

Read More »
4Corners Riversports

Milt Wiley was a local paddling legend. Even in the 1980s, when whitewater sports were still coming on the scene, everyone in Durango had heard of the Wiley’s. In 1983, he and his daughters opened 4 Corners Riversports (4CRS). Since that time, 4CRS has become Southwest Colorado’s iconic river supply store. With everything from stand up paddle boards (SUPs) to cookstoves to PFDs, the shop supplies river goers with everything they need for their outdoor

Read More »
Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

Greg Parham was looking to purchase property and build a modest size home. A friend happened to email him a link about a tiny home story. Greg had never heard of tiny houses before, but upon reading it he realized, “I can do this. I have the skills to build my own tiny house.” Greg researched the project, learning everything he could on the subject, and realized that creating his own tiny house business was

Read More »
Buck’s Parlor – A Place for Y’all

After years of living in Nashville, Lauryn Williams was ready for a slower pace. Her friend and fellow hair designer, Chasity Martinez, had recently moved to Durango, so she decided to come visit. It wasn’t long before the two started talking about launching a barbershop of their own. But, they knew that it had to reflect their unique style and personalities. And that’s where Buck’s Parlor was born. Buck’s Parlor is a unisex barbershop with

Read More »
Cortez Cab

Ed Gilbert saw a niche that needed to be filled and filled it. The existing public transportation system in Cortez was very limited. There was no “on demand private system”, so he started one. He is now approaching his second busy season and the business keeps growing. Gilbert, who had never owned a business, took the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs class twice – once in Cortez in the fall of 2011 and again in the

Read More »
Skip to content