FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The novel coronavirus pandemic is forcing small businesses to pivot once again, but they're getting some extra support in Larimer County.
CSU professors are leading a workshop for business owners to help them navigate this challenging time and create long-term success. The program is called Pivot Larimer County and it's being offered free of charge, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the county.
"So to develop the ability to pivot and change directions and create value in new ways that can enable both the success of these businesses and entrepreneurs and these community members, but also the success of Fort Collins and Larimer County more broadly," said Rob Mitchell, an associate pI'rofessor for the College of Business.
Businesses will be able to take part in a series of online sessions, the first one started on Friday. The program also offers an opportunity for business owners to share their experiences and ideas.
"You know, the longer this goes on, definitely the more challenges there are for businesses and that’s why I wanted to sign up for the class at CSU. I felt like that was a great way to touch base with what some of the other people were doing and get other ideas, and find out what’s working for them and just make sure we are thriving in this situation as much as we possibly can," said Jillian Lobejko, the owner of a boutique called Sole Mates.
During the course of the discussion, the word "uncertainty" came up a lot. Mitchell and his colleague, Kipp Krukowski, want to empower small businesses by giving them the tools they need to make strategic decisions.
"The pandemic is a reason for them to really look at their business from a lot of different perspectives to see where there’s opportunities to really look under the hood for lack of better words to see where they can make some changes," said Krukowski, a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship.
Additional cohorts will be offered in January, February and March for any Larmier County business that wants to participate. Registration information is available on CSU's website.