American Wiping Rags, Inc.

Shelley McPherson will be the first to tell you that starting her own business from scratch was very challenging both mentally and physically. Even with Shelley’s past managing experience with a wiping rag business her father started in California, there were still challenges. Incorporating her dream of operating her own business with her desire to make a difference in the world through recycling led her to create a line of unique and practical products she offers for retail sale.

Before Shelley set off on her start-up business adventure she contacted the Southern Colorado SBDC and began working on a business plan. Shelley identified immediately with the importance of a business plan and was able to begin working on one while receiving entrepreneur training through the state certified SBDC Leading Edge Program.

“After graduating from the SBDC Leading Edge Program, I was able to secure a small business loan with a private community revolving loan fund (EPIC) and six months later we opened our doors for business to Southern Colorado.”

American Wiping Rags, Inc. (AWR), manufactures six different types of disposable cotton wiping rags. The rags are manufactured from 100% recycled, clean cotton material that is sorted, cut to size and packaged. In 2006 the company also began offering a product line of microfiber cleaning cloths, mops and dusters. The durable cloths can handle at least 200 washes and are biodegradable. In 2009, AWR added their latest sorbent line which is a product made of paper, wool and cotton and is designed for containment of oil-based spills and hazardous liquids.

By continuing to participate in SBDC business development offerings, Shelley continues to receive on-going and invaluable business advising, support and encouragement. “With all the changes in the economy and just the business itself, it’s important for any entrepreneur to continue to educate themselves and incorporate new ideas. The SBDC is a great resource to do so.”

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VeriClean Springs

When you meet Dee Anna Thompson, not only does she greet you with warm smile and welcoming hug, you would never know she was the President of a fast growing, award winning business based on her humble personality. Dee Anna Thompson, President of VeriClean Springs opened in 2000. At the time, Dee Anna needed to make ends meet. Given cleaning was the only experience she had coming out of high school, finding a job was

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The Little Bird Bake Shop

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San Luis Valley Health and Wellness

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Espinoza Cultural Services

A small business based in La Jara is proving that a San Luis Valley company can ‘play with the big boys’. Dee Espinoza founded Espinoza Cultural Services, LLC (ECS) in 2010. Espinoza ran the company by herself out of her La Jara home for the first 2 years. She now employs 13 full time professionals (although some are seasonal) and 3 part time. ECS recently purchased and renovated a vacant historic building in downtown La

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Black Swift Technologies

Boulder-based company Black Swift Technologies was founded by three PhD students from the University of Colorado. The three men were inspired to start the company from their work in the field during their studies. At CU, they learned how to chase storms and collect data using old military equipment, which is relatively complicated to use. They set out to simplify the process with unmanned aircraft systems and Black Swift Technologies was born. Although they are

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