Small Business Development

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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.lippert@coloradosprings.gov.

 

I want to... 

Obtain a business license

Check the City Clerk’s business licensing page to apply for the appropriate 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: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

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

Digital Equity 

  • Free and low-cost internet access
  • Computers and tablets
  • Computer and internet training
  • Digital equity efforts

 

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.

  • 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.
  • Southern Colorado SCORE
    • SCORE helps small businesses succeed through mentoring, workshops, a library of resources, and much more.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Property Search
      • The Chamber & EDC’s Property Search tool helps you discover your next site with an extensive database of currently available properties.
    • 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.
  • Colorado Springs Hispanic Business Council
    • The Hispanic Business Council promotes and serves Hispanic businesses by promoting creativity, development, growth, and sustainability.
  • Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
    • The Women’s Chamber of Commerce empowers its members through education, advocacy, and collaborative partnerships.
  • 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

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.

Chamber & EDC SizeUp COS

View how your business compares to other similar businesses in the City

 

COS Open for Business Roadmap

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.

 

COSSBA

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.lippert@coloradosprings.gov

Partner Organizations