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September 30, 2016

Two Success Stories for SRDC!

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:02 am

(the following was written by SRDC Executive Director Bob Flint for the Fall SRDC Newsletter)

The timing turned out to be coincidental, but within the span of a few weeks this summer, two projects that SRDC has invested significant time and resources in both crossed the proverbial finish line.

Blake Hill Preserves opened their new 6,000 square foot production facility and retail store in Artisans Park in Windsor and Konrad Prefab began operations in their new 17,000 square foot space in the Robert S. Jones Industrial Center in Springfield.

Both of these are case studies of what SRDC can do, from soup to nuts so to speak.  I first met Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin over two years ago when Terry McDonnell (the owner of Artisans Park) and I saw them at their home in Grafton.  In the case of Konrad Prefab, I’ve known David Jaacks from the days of Kiosko and the seeds of his project started taking hold just over a year ago.

In both situations, our work included, in no particular order – site selection (including changing specs and communities), equipment financing, business plan development, project development (with, in both cases, dramatic changes in scope) and, ultimately, project financing and construction oversight.  There were ups and significant downs and there were times when we were serving as “therapists” as much as an “economic developers” as we tried to hold things together.

SRDC is now the proud owner of the completed Blake Hill Preserves building in Windsor, the second property that we own in Artisans Park.  And we are doing work at our Jones Center facility in association with the Konrad project.   SRDC’s Heather Hartford and Chair Doug Gurney have been heavily involved in all of this as well.

Each of these projects also showcases the strong partnerships that SRDC is fortunate enough to have. VEDA (Vermont Economic Development Authority) is closely involved in both companies/projects and, as always, is ready to roll up their sleeves to help us find a way to make things work.  The Towns of Windsor and Springfield were integral parts of these projects with direct assistance and support. Within the SRDC office, the Small Business Development Center and Procurement Technical Assistance Center are tied in with these businesses.  We also are working with the Department of Economic Development on obtaining grants to assist with the companies’ workforce needs.

The ribbon cutting for the Blake Hill building will be next week, October 6th at 11 am and we will be holding a similar event for Konrad Prefab in the coming weeks.  SRDC’s Annual Meeting (on November 1st at the Windsor Mansion Inn) will also be an opportunity to celebrate these success stories.

For us in the office, it’s gratifying to realize that we helped to facilitate each of these projects, both of which are adding new jobs to the economy in the region.  We always remember that we don’t “create” jobs, businesses do.  Hopefully, with Blake Hill Preserves and Konrad Prefab, we can safely say that we helped these two young companies launch major projects that will establish them as important employers in Southern Windsor County for many years to come.

September 27, 2016

Start Your Own Business Workshop in Springfield on 10/14

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 1:16 pm

The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is offering a 4-hour workshop on how to start your own business and write a business plan. The course will be offered on Friday, October 14th, from 9 am – 1 pm, at the SRDC office at 14 Clinton Street in Springfield, VT.

Starting Your Own Business can be challenging…are you ready to turn your idea into a real business opportunity? This workshop, conducted by experienced business advisors, is designed as a guide for the first-time business owner. Your payment to attend includes a comprehensive start-up workbook, handouts, and resources in marketing, financing, management and operations. Highlights of the workshop include using the “Business Model Canvas” to evaluate whether there is a viable business in your good idea, identifying your target customers and your “unique selling proposition”, consider start-up costs, sales, expenses and financing options.  Learn how to register your business, apply for tax numbers, ways to pitch your idea, develop a business plan plus more.  By the end of this workshop you will be well-informed about the tools and resources available to you and the “Next Steps” involved in launching a successful business.

Space is limited. To register for the workshop sign up online at www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training tab). For registration questions, please email Heather Gonyaw at hgonyaw@vtsbdc.org.  The registration fee is $99.00.  Your payment includes a start-up workbook in hardcopy and pdf format.

Vermont Small Business Development Center is a non-profit partnership of government, education and business, organized to help Vermont small businesses succeed. No-cost, confidential advice is provided to existing business owners and new entrepreneurs throughout the state.  The local VTSBDC office is part of Springfield Regional Development Corporation, 14 Clinton Street in Springfield VT. For more information visit www.vtsbdc.org or contact Debra Boudrieau at (802) 885-2071 or dboudrieau@vtsbdc.org.