Courtesy Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center
"Small businesses are the backbone of this economy," says Gina Sacripanti, vice president of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado. "So for us, supporting small businesses ultimately results in a stronger economy and a stronger community."
In this case, "us" means the BBB and the Small Business Development Center, with whom the BBB has teamed up to celebrate Small Business Week for the fifth year in a row.
Each year during Small Business Week, SBDC and BBB bring valuable resources and workshops to our local businesses. Among this week's events, business owners and potential startups can look forward to a panel about what the new administration means for small businesses, as well as a simulation to help folks amp up their cyber security.
Sacripanti says that the quality of the programming put on by Small Business Week has improved over the years. "The types of events that we put on are a little bit more hot topics, so the speakers that we have are local experts."
Those of us who don't own our own business can still get psyched for Small Business Week's kickoff event: the second-annual food truck cook-off. Let's be real, Colorado Springs loves its food trucks, and $15 to $20 bucks to sample 12 of them is a pretty sweet deal. In case you need more convincing, the lineup includes such local favorites as Mira Sol, Awaken, Heavenly Dessert, Three Sisters Frybread and Lucy I'm Home.
Once you pay your way, you can sample to your heart's content and cast your vote for the people's choice award. Not confident in your own palate? That's okay, there will be judges, too (our own food critic Griffin Swartzell among them), who will give out their own prize.
Last year's event sold out at 250 people, but Sacripanti says they're expecting (and prepared for) as many as 400 this year. "It just shows the appetite [of] the community. This community wants something different and fun supporting our local businesses."
Winners of the cook-off will be announced alongside other high-profile awards at the final event of Small Business Week, an awards dinner (May 4, 5:30-9 p.m.), which is meant to honor and celebrate members of our business community.
These organizations do a lot to support local small businesses, both existing and in-development. So get out, support them, and chow down while you're at it.
Sunday, April 30, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Norris-Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road, $15-$20, pikespeaksbdc.org/smallbusinessweek.