Getting Help with Your Small Business
One of the primary roles of the Economic Development Division is to assist in the business development process. Getting your business off the ground is no easy task. This webpage is a landing site for small business owners who have questions about how the City can enable their business to thrive. Below, you’ll find resources, tools, and guidance to help open a small business or operate a current one.
At Economic Development, we want to set your business up for success. We provide useful resources and programs alongside those our private partners provide. Shawna Lippert is a Senior Economic Development Specialist in the City’s Economic Development Division. Shawna serves as a liaison to the small business community by assisting with government regulatory processes, connecting entrepreneurs to appropriate services, and collaborating with agencies to simplify regulatory processes. She also serves as the main point of contact for the Colorado Springs for Small Business Advancement (COSSBA) advisory group. Contact Shawna at (719) 385-6803 or Shawna.email@example.com.
I want to...
Obtain a business license
Determine if the space chosen will work for my business
IMPORTANT: Before signing your lease, it’s a good idea to make sure your location matches your needs.
Agencies to check with:
- Planning and Community Development
Go to the City’s Planning and Development page to make sure your location fits your business needs. A Pre-Application Meeting is free of charge and allows prospective applicants to sit down with a planner assigned to the geographic area to discuss a piece of property. The planner will outline any major areas of concern, explain any applications required, and outline the process timeline.
- Colorado Springs Utilities - Building & Development
Whether you’re a developer, builder, contractor, or civil engineer, Colorado Springs Utilities offers a one-stop online shop for valuable information, tools and resources to make your development experience easy and efficient.
- Colorado Springs Fire Department RESTART Program
The RESTART program is designed to help small businesses, realtors and brokers find code-compliant commercial properties prior to their commitment to purchase, lease or develop the property, therefore avoiding unexpected and costly upgrades later on.
Find out what permits are necessary for opening my business
Learn if it is legal to run a business from my home
In many cases, you can run a business from your home. The City’s Planning and Development Site has a Home Occupation Permitting page that will explain the requirements for running a business from a home.
Learn how to leverage enterprise zone tax incentives
El Paso County offers tax incentives to eligible businesses within enterprise zones. The Enterprise Zone page will let you know if your business can leverage these opportunities.
Learn what kind of funding is available for small businesses
Colorado Business Resource Book Financing Options
Colorado Enterprise Fund Small Business Grants
Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) Programs and Funding Assistance for Small Businesses
El Paso County Business Loan Fund
Small Business Development Center’s List of Resources for Funding
How to obtain a Liquor License
Liquor and Beer Licensing in Colorado is dual-jurisdictional with both Colorado Department of Revenue and City of Colorado Springs licensing required. All matters related to Liquor and Beer licensing, however, must be directed the Office of the City Clerk in the City of Colorado Springs.
Find Resources for Low-Cost Internet and Computer Access
- Free and low-cost internet access
- Computers and tablets
- Computer and internet training
- Digital equity efforts
Resources and Tools
Small Business Resources
Aside from the City, there are small business resources provided by the county, the state, and private entities. Click the links below to see what resources are available to your business.
- Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC
- The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC provides business owners with informational resources like demographics, city comparisons, property searches, opportunity zones, and the SizeUp COS tool.
- Colorado Springs Hispanic Business Council
- The Hispanic Business Council promotes and serves Hispanic businesses by promoting creativity, development, growth, and sustainability.
- Colorado Startup Loan Fund
- The Colorado Startup Loan Fund provides loan capital to mission-based lenders to provide loans to Colorado entrepreneurs and small business owners needing capital to start, restart, or restructure a business, and those who are not able to obtain a loan from traditional lenders. This is a revolving loan fund, meaning the dollars will be used to continue supporting new entrepreneurs as loans are repaid.
- El Paso County Enterprise Zones
- County Enterprise Zones offer tax incentives and reductions for businesses in designated parts of the county.
- El Paso County Pikes Peak Workforce Center
- The Pikes Peak Workforce Center connects vital businesses with work-ready job seekers and employer-driven services.
- Permit Partner Permit Partner is a tool for future business owners that helps you estimate the cost of potential permits, applications, inspections, and licenses for your new business. It takes the information you provide and generates a list of estimated fees and required approvals.
- Pikes Peak Library District Business Resources
- The Pikes Peak Library District provides free business resources - business plans, legal information, investment resources, adult education tools, research guides, makerspaces, demographic databases, food industry training, engravers for branding, LinkedIn Learning in multiple languages, etc. All you need is a library card to begin your entrepreneurial journey
- Property Search
- The Chamber & EDC’s Property Search tool helps you discover your next site with an extensive database of currently available properties.
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
- The SBDC is dedicated to helping to exist and new small businesses grow and prosper by providing free consulting and no- or low-cost training programs.
- Small Business Resource Book
- The resource book is one of the most successful and comprehensive business books in the nation. The online version updates entrepreneurs with the ever-changing information they need to know.
- SourceLink Resource Navigator
- The Chamber & EDC’s resource navigator connects small businesses to resources like COS Open for Biz, Peak Startup, and the Small Business Advisory Council.
- Southern Colorado SCORE
- SCORE helps small businesses succeed through mentoring, workshops, a library of resources, and much more
- Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- The Women’s Chamber of Commerce empowers its members through education, advocacy, and collaborative partnerships.
Small Business Development Tools
Whether you’re just getting started or have already opened for business, see if these tools can help you with your small business.
View how your business compares to other similar businesses in the City
Take your business from great idea to grand opening! This tool gives small business owners a roadmap tailored to their industry, with step-by-step guidance to get their business off the ground.
COS Workforce Asset Map (WAM!)
The COS Workforce Asset Map, or WAM!, is a tool created by the UCCS Economic Forum to help employers fill positions, learn about labor supply and wage data, and much more.
Colorado Springs for Small Business Advancement
Colorado Springs for Small Business Advancement (COSSBA) brings together entrepreneurs, business service organizations, government agencies, and business advocates in the Pikes Peak region to provide support and shape the future of how small businesses navigate the regulatory process. COSSBA is both an advisory group that provides strategic direction to the work of small business advancement and a working group that executes small business advancement projects. By bringing together government agencies, business services, and business advocates, COSSBA is a unique organization consisting of leaders from across the business world working to make Colorado Springs the #1 City for small businesses in the US. For more information contact Shawna Lippert at (719) 385-6803 or Shawna.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado (BBB)
- Bryan Construction
- City of Colorado Springs - City Clerk's Office
- City of Colorado Springs - Communications
- City of Colorado Springs - Community and Neighborhood Planning
- City of Colorado Springs - Economic Development
- City of Colorado Springs - Fire Marshal & Fire Code
- City of Colorado Springs - Planning and Development
- Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC
- Colorado Springs Utilities - Office of Economic Development
- Community & Cocktails
- David Commercial Real Estate
- Day Lily Salon and Spa
- Downtown Partnership Colorado Springs
- El Paso County - Environmental Health Division
- El Paso County - Public Health Department
- Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
- Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
- City of Colorado Springs
- Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
- Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC
- Colorado Springs Fire Department
- Coloardo Springs Utilities
- Downtown Colorado Springs
- El Paso County
- Pikes Peak Regional Building Department
- Pikes Peak Workforce Center