Durango Running Company

Durango Running Company owner, Brett Sublett had lots of experience in the outdoor retail and athletic shoe industries but had never owned his own store.

Sublett had managed Your Running Store for four years and then became the footwear buyer at Back Country Experience for three years. He also knew a lot about running and running shoes since he Coached Cross Country at Fort Lewis.

When Sublett decided he wanted his own store, he contacted the SBDC and initially spoke to advisor Joe Keck. Keck asked about his personal experience in the industry, and what his qualifications were to venture out on his own. Sublett explained his prior experience and presented a rough outline of his business plan. Keck made sure all the major points were covered and the two discussed what kind of entity the business would be and how to file with the state. Sublett chose LLC – Limited Liability Company for his new business – Durango Running Company.

He also consulted with an attorney and an accountant and the business was formed.

Advisor Joe Bishop then helped with the hunt for the perfect retail location. “He pointed out the possible pitfalls and red flags and told me what to look for in a location and a lease agreement. One of the most important things Joe taught me was that I didn’t have to just accept what the landlord proposed. I could negotiate.”

Sublett didn’t realize he had leverage and Bishop’s advice gave him the confidence and strength to negotiate a lease that worked for both parties. They reviewed a few leases and looked at a few spaces before deciding on 473 E. College Drive – next to Home Slice Pizza. Sublett confesses to grabbing quite a few quick lunches right next door, as the smell is hard to ignore.

Sublett was very impressed with “the timely manner in which Joe Bishop responded to my questions.” He’d shoot an email out with a question and even if it was Sunday night- Joe Bishop got back to him quickly.

Sublett explains, “Opening a new business can be scary. The accessibility of advisors in this program is outstanding. The process was unintimidating, they were welcoming and it was easy to get an appointment. The expertise of the advisors is invaluable in helping a new business owner navigate all that needs to be done.”

San Juan Trading Post

By Malia Durbano Ryan, Tom and Ellen Beavers are all partners in San Juan Trading Post, a new business that opened in Pagosa Springs in October of 2013. Parents Tom and Ellen live in Pagosa and develop properties there. Son Ryan was managing a pawn shop in Ohio. When Tom and Ellen looked around, they realized there wasn’t a pawn shop in Pagosa and thought it might be a good place to open one. Ryan

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BC Signs, LLC

“I remember the first time I met Joe Keck, I was huddled by a wood stove in a 4,000 square foot building accompanied by a meager video inventory and a vinyl cutter”, said Bryce Capron, on meeting Joe in at his place of business in Dove Creek. He sat next to the fire with me and we talked. “It was my first contact with a resource that I value and rely on to this day.”

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Southwest Discovered

Southwest Discovered (SWD) is a weekly blog/mini e-magazine founded by Amy and Jim Dodson. Their passion for the Southwest, along with a ‘forever tourist’ mindset was inspiration for the website. What began as a personal blog about the region’s cuisine evolved into a business. SWD would detail their road trips and experiences, highlighting their discovery of Southwest culture, people and landscapes through art and story. When they were transitioning away from the blog in 2015,

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Pagosa Verde

Pagosa Verde is the only Public/Private partnership in the State of Colorado for geothermal development. It involves Pagosa Verde, a privately owned business, the United States Department of Energy, the Colorado Energy Office, the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. This unique collaboration also combines technical assistance and funding from the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center and Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado coming together to assist in the development of

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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. 

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Native Roots Garden Center

By Malia Durbano John Wickman, owner of the independent garden center, Native Roots, has a degree in Horticulture, but not one in Business. That is why he approached Joe Keck of the SW Colorado SBDC for some advice on expanding his business. The Garden Center does Landscape Design and Installation with a large retail section for do-it-yourselfers. They grow all their own trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials through their subsidiary, Pine River Plants. Wickman, “Learned

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