Small-business owners in Colorado Springs can participate in several days of festivities, networking events and learning opportunities during the 10th annual Small Business Week for the Pikes Peak region.
Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado and Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center are teaming up to host four days of events, June 4 to June 8, including panels, workshops and an awards ceremony. It’s the first fully in-person Small Business Week since the COVID-19 pandemic began; it was held virtually in 2020 and was a hybrid in-person / online event last year.
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“We are proud of the small businesses in southern Colorado,” Jonathan Liebert, CEO and executive director of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, said in a release announcing Small Business Week. “They have endured a lot during the past two years and have shown their grit, innovation and entrepreneurship, and they have continued to change through the pandemic. This week is about honoring their work and it is imperative that we continue to support and encourage small- business owners. “
Small Business Week kicks off June 4 at 11 am with a Small Business Bash & Awards Celebration at Red Leg Brewing Co., 2323 Garden of the Gods Road. The awards will recognize the Small Business Person of the Year, the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Veteran Small Business Owner of the Year, among other awards.
The list of finalists includes:
Small Business Person of the Year – Amy Whitesell, A Music Company Inc .; Arlene Padilla, Arlene’s Beans; Torie Giffin, Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort LLC.
Small Business Champion of the Year – Joe Aldaz, Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Mitchell Cohen, Anthem Music Enterprises; Reanna Werner, HR Branches.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Bobby Mikulas, Kinship Landing; Kristen Sharpe, The Nonprofit Makeover & Boss Babe Networking; Robert Velasquez, Felipe’s 109.
Family-Owned Business of the Year – Claudette Hutchinson, Spice Island Grill; David Leinweber, Angler’s Covey; Bob Penkhus, Bob Penkhus Motor Co.
Veteran Small Business Owner of the Year – Kenya Lee, PureLee Redefined; David Thompson, Winds of Change Remodeling Inc .; Monique Walkes, Lavida Massage Colorado Springs.
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The event costs $ 25 for general admission, or pay $ 125 for VIP tickets to receive a pint of beer, brewery tour and patio seating for the event along with giveaways. The ’80s-themed event will feature music, food and games.
From 9 to 11 am June 6, at City Auditorium, there will be a free panel discussion (although tickets are required and are limited), where three speakers will discuss social media and marketing strategies and give tips about video content, sustainability, cybersecurity and inclusivity.
The following day, another free panel discussion will be held at City Auditorium from 9 to 11 am, with local business presidents and CEOs discussing leadership.
The final day of events, June 8 from 11 to 1 pm, will feature an opportunity to network before a small-business lunch and series of speakers who will discuss social entrepreneurship – using business to solve social and environmental issues while making a profit.
“We will honor local small businesses that have helped keep our local economy strong even during an unprecedented pandemic and year,” said Aikta Marcoulier, executive director of the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center. “These small businesses are influencers on culture, vitality, innovation and ultimately, these small businesses are the backbone of our economy.”
Visit https://pikespeaksbdc.org/small-business-week/ to register for the award ceremony and other Small Business Week events.
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