Fall 2017

Welcome to the e-Edition of the Region 9 Business Line!  

As you and your organization plan for 2018, don't forget to take advantage of Region 9's data and resources, always available at

We've just posted the latest employment trend data for all five Southwest Colorado counties.  We are pleased to report that our region is finally back to pre-recession numbers.

Laura Lewis Marchino
Executive Director


Loan Client Spotlight:
Business Purchase a 'Smooth' Process for WAXED Owner

Above: Owner Jenna Morrison, seated, with the crew at Waxed

For Jenna Morrison, business ownership was not a lifelong goal attained after years of planning.  It was an unexpected opportunity in which she has found her footing, and hasn’t looked back since.  Morrison is the owner of Waxed, Durango’s only fully Esthetic service-focused salon.  From hair removal to eyebrow sculpting, Waxed offers a full menu of services for their 2,000-plus-and-growing client base.

When Morrison learned that the previous owner wanted to sell in the fall of 2016, she said having someone else take over the business was never an option.

Morrison’s dedication to the business is a product of her involvement in the growth of Waxed from its original location on North Main to the larger, Wal Mart-adjacent location.
The move immediately brought in new clients, and Morrison was an integral part of shaping the brand and customer service philosophy.
This made Morrison the former owner’s first choice to take the reins, and with financial help from Region 9, the transition quickly took Jenna from Esthetician to business owner.

“I just didn’t see another way.  I had helped her create this, so it just seemed right to step in and take it over.  For the previous owner it was kind of like passing the torch," said Morrison.

The process was not without hurdles, however, and Morrison found her way to Region 9 when conventional bank loans presented difficulties.
"We’re mostly a service-based business, so we don’t have a lot of assets for collateral," Morrison said.  Region 9 was critical for Morrison to make the purchase.

"It was nice to go to somebody local that specifically worked with small businesses.” Morrison adds.  “I appreciated where they were coming from saying, ‘you know we’re going to help you with this, but what are you going to give back?’ And to me that’s been hiring employees and being able to contribute in that way.”

She’s already created 3 new jobs, and looks forward to growing her philanthropic involvement with a focus on community cancer support, specifically contributing her services to women facing a diagnosis and treatment, and still having to present their best selves to the world.

“Not having any eyebrows or eyelashes, you just don’t feel feminine.  My mom is a breast cancer survivor, so the cause is very near and dear to my heart,” says Morrison.   

When she’s not beautifying La Plata County, Morrison spends her time with her husband and young daughter on their horses as often as possible.

Waxed is located at 1185 S. Camino del Rio, Suite 140 in Durango.  Learn more about Waxed and their services using @waxeddurango on Facebook and Instagram, or at
New Region 9 Board Officers Take Their Seats
Top row: William Tookey, Shane Hale. Bottom row: Laurie Sigilitto, Todd Starr.
San Juan County Administrator William Tookey is Region 9’s first new Chairman of the Board in eight years, replacing Dolores County’s Dan Fernandez.  Tookey is the 6th Chair in Region 9’s 28-year history.  He’s joined by:
  • Todd Starr, Archuleta County Attorney as Vice Chair
  • Shane Hale, Cortez City Manager as Secretary
  • Laurie Sigilitto, owner of Fast Signs and Fast Forward Media as Treasurer
The officers were elected at Region 9’s Annual meeting held on September 28th.
The four officers and 3 additional board members make up the Region 9 Executive Committee.  Dan Fernandez, Past Chair and Dolores County Representative; Mary Jo Coulehan, Pagosa Springs Chamber; and Dewayne Findley, Montezuma Representative, were also elected to the Executive Committee.
Dolores County Extension Director, Gus Westerman, Receives Statewide Recognition
Gus Westerman, the Dolores County CSU Extension Director, and Chairman of the Dolores County Development Corporation (DCDC), has received one of the Economic Development Council of Colorado’s Excellence in Economic Development (EDIE) awards.
This award goes to an outstanding, non-practicing economic development professional volunteer who has demonstrated a multi-year commitment to the vitality, growth and sustainability of the Colorado economy.

Nominated by Region 9, Westerman played a key role to revitalize the Dove Creek Chamber of Commerce by applying and overseeing matching marketing funds from the Colorado Tourism Office to encourage marketing, website work and signage for this rural community of 735 members.

Region 9 was present to see Westerman honored in Vail in early October.

Congratulations to Ken Charles, retired Regional Manager of DoLA, who was recognized with the first Ed Morlan Economic Development Leader of the Year Award.

Above: Ken Charles with Region 9 Executive Director Laura Lewis Marchino
Ken Charles, La Plata County resident and former Regional Manager with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DoLA), is this year’s recipient of The Ed Morlan Economic Development Leader of the Year Award.
He was honored for his representation and advocacy of southwest Colorado communities at the State level, and success in bringing in over 150 million dollars for over 580 projects.  He retired this past summer after 29 years.
Region 9 Executive Director Laura Lewis Marchino said, “Ken was the perfect choice for the newly renamed award since he and Ed Morlan worked together their entire careers. The impact Ken has had in southwest Colorado has directly enhanced economic development conditions in all of our communities.”
Every year, Region 9’s Board of Directors honors a southwest Colorado resident that goes above and beyond his or her paid position and makes a significant positive impact in our regional economy. The award was renamed this year in honor of Morlan, Region 9’s previous executive director that passed away unexpectedly last fall.

SCAPE is now accepting applications for their 2018 Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs.  Start ups and young businesses with unique products or services with large scalable potential from Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan Counties are welcome to apply through December 31st.
All companies accepted into the 2018 program will be eligible for investments funds to go towards tangibles to help develop the business.   

SCAPE's mission is to help launch and propel local job-producing businesses as far forward as possible.

More information at
Four SW Colorado Counties Approved for Rural Jump-Start Incentives
Above: Rural counties like Dolores County hope to attract new businesses with the Rural Jump-Start Program

Four Southwest Colorado counties have been approved by the Colorado Economic Development Commission as Rural Jump-Start Counties.

This State program provides an opportunity for businesses relocating into Colorado to get tax relief by choosing Archuleta, Dolores, Montezuma or San Juan County.

The business has to be non-duplicative, create a certain number of high wage new jobs, and must be approved by the Town/County and State as outlined in each county’s resolution. 

Incentives include:

• Relief from state income taxes
• Relief from the state sales & use tax for the business
• Relief from county and municipal personal property taxes for the business

Click here to download the Fact Sheet

Make Money in the Film Industry...Without Leaving Southwest Colorado
The 4 Corners Film Office aims to bolster our local economy through the facilitation of talent and services for local and visiting film and multimedia productions.  The hiring of local crew and vendors, renting of local equipment, and usage of our scenic regional filming locations all contribute to the economic boost our area gets when a project is filmed here.  But we need your help to supplement our service directory and location gallery!

Do you have a skill useful in the production world?
From sound techs to actors, catering to hair & makeup, visiting productions need all sorts of services.  Make sure your free listing in the 4CFO Production Guide is up to date so everyone knows you're available for hire.
Do you own a scenic ranch or unique property?
The 4CFO receives frequent requests for specific landscapes or outbuildings where a scene or commercial can be shot.  These productions pay location fees for the use of these properties.  List your property in our free location gallery!
To sign up for the 4CFO Newsletter to stay in the know about production employment opportunities, Film Office mixers, workshops and events to get you connected to all the key players, go to
Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado
970.247.9621 p
970.247.9513 f
295 Girard Street, Suite A
Durango, CO 81303

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Region 9 Economic Development · 135 Burnett Dr. Unit 1 · Durango, Colorado 81301 · USA

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