Grand County covers costs of local business training | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County covers costs of local business training

In a move to boost local small businesses, Grand County commissioners have agreed to underwrite training by international Destination Business expert Jon Schallert.

The county will cover tuition costs for Schallert's 2½-day Destination BootCamp for up to 12 businesses this October. The plan qualifies the county for Schallert's Community Reinvention Program, which includes on-site visits and four months of one-on-one and group consultations for Grand County business owners.

The offer of free tuition is for all businesses in Grand County. Businesses that would likely benefit the most from the training program are retail businesses located in a downtown or retail-oriented location. Schallert's expertise lies in helping retail businesses attract and retain customers, to become a retail destination.

For more information about registering for the training program, contact DiAnn Butler, coordinator of Grand County Economic Development, at 970-531-1343 or dbutler@co.grand.co.us

"It's a great opportunity for local businesses," Butler says. "It's a huge value for the business, and it's a tool for them to use."

Grand County Economic Development is partnering with Climax Molybdenum to pay for the tuition for those businesses that qualify for the two and a half day training program.

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Butler compares the county's investment to incentives offered to attract large retailers or other companies to the area. In this case, the money helps existing businesses learn how to develop identities that appeal to far-flung customers.

"You get to see the power of what Jon's capable of, the tools and resources," she says." "He can get to the core of your business, those things that are hard to identify. That's what Jon has a talent for."

Schallert, who presented a full-day workshop in Granby last year, has worked with small independent businesses for more than 30 years, including a decade at Hallmark Cards where his marketing strategy was known as "The Schallert Method." He started The Schallert Group in 1996 and developed a 14-step Destination Business strategy that he teaches. The Schallert Group is headquartered in Longmont, where Schallert holds his intensive Destination BootCamp.

Schallert's Community Reinvention Program has boosted retail sales by up to 40 percent in communities across North America, including helping tourism-focused Rocky Mountain communities.

DiAnn Butler, who heard Schallert at a Downtown Colorado Inc. conference, has visited several of Schallert's clients, many of whom have credited him with lifting their companies up through the economic downturn.

"Early on, I realized Jon's strategy has an impact in small rural mountain communities like ours," Butler says. "He was able to get people to look at their operations and change things that are doable for small businesses to make them a destination. I was really intrigued by the program he does collaboratively with communities."

In addition to the 45-minute on-site personal consultation, the program includes four months of follow-up contact and a 90-minute Destination workshop open to all businesses in Grand County.