Paonia is one of six communities in Colorado to be chosen by Downtown Colorado, Inc. to receive marketing training through a program funded through a Rural Business Development Grant.
Through this grant, Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) will provide workshops and technical assistance services focused on digitial marketing.
"We are excited that Paonia has been chosen for the Rural Business Development Grant and for the opportunity to work with DCI," says Elaine Brett, liaison for the Space to Create program in Paonia. "Paonia is buzzing with entrepreneurial activity and is establishing itself as a Creative District. The RBDG will help us move new businesses forward and will allow existing business owners to improve and gain new skills."
In Colorado, business communities in rural, low-income areas are typically the most in need of, but least served by, training programs or technical assistance to improve their overall performance and achieve sustainability. Downtown business districts struggle to remain occupied and active with this lack of resources and advocacy. This is compounded by digital marketplaces and online shopping, which threaten the success of brick-and-mortar businesses in struggling areas.
The RDBG program is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. The communities DCI will serve through this grant in the summer and fall of 2018 are: Center, Eads, Gunnison, Limon, Paonia and Saguache.
The program will take a two-phased approach. In the first phase, Planning for Regional Attraction, DCI will work with community leadership to help better provide support to the business community as a whole. The second phase, Digitial Marketing for Creative Entrepreneurs, coming this fall, will aid businesses by expanding the knowledge base in both the most fundamental and latest marketing technologies.