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Planning for Change

Happy Fall!  I am writing this update from Region 9’s new office space in the Durango Tech Center.  Since Team 9 works hard to build the sustainability of all our business clients, it made sense to look at our own organization’s future by taking the big step from renting to owning our office space. 
One of my favorite quotes is “Change should never be the result of apathy”. This quote recognizes that change happens regardless, but as much as possible, we need to plan for and direct our change. This planning for change is even more important with the region’s ongoing fires and overarching drought conditions. It has been a tough year. The good news is that the impacts of fire are relatively short-term. We have just released the Economic Impact of Colorado Wildfires Report completed by Region 9 Board member and Fort Lewis College Professor, Dr. Robert Sonora. The report is available on our website

I also want to highlight some amazing work being done in San Juan County to manage their change. After the Gold King Mine Spill in 2015, Region 9 received grant funds from the Economic Development Administration, with community match, for a 2-year Recovery Coordinator position. This Coordinator is responsible for assisting businesses and helping the community navigate their transition to a long-term Superfund site. Little did we know that we would see a low snow winter, fire and resulting debris flow, highway closures and drought recovery for San Juan County. Melanie Russek is our Coordinator and brings an amazing array of energy, good instinct and plain old hard work to the position. An example of her initiative is highlighted in this newsletter. With Russek’s help, Silverton was just named as a Certified Business Community, part of a three-year State pilot program.

Russek’s position is also helping to revitalize the county-level economic development group, San Juan Development Association (SJDA), with additional goals of developing a resiliency plan, tourism diversification strategies to mitigate job loss, and creating resiliency for future disasters.

Laura Lewis Marchino
Executive Director

Laura Lewis Marchino, Executive Director

We Moved!
We are now located at 135 Burnett Dr. Unit 1, Durango, CO. 81301

Read On


Save the Date!

October 11th at 4:30 p.m.

Join us for Business After Hours at our satellite office in Cortez inside the Dolores State Bank 27880 HWY 160 (across the highway from Cliffrose Garden Center).

Region 9 Reports

Region 9 is currently updating several of your favorite and most useful reports to bring you the data you need. You can expect new versions over the next 3-4 months.Stay informed through our e-newsletter and by visiting our website:

Join Region 9 for our Open House!

Join Region 9 for our Open House on November 2nd at 4:30pm at 135 Burnett Dr. Durango, CO 81301

Silverton Named Certified Business Community

Silverton awarded Certified Small Business Development Community

From left: Mary Shepherd, Deputy Director of the Small Business Development Center, Kelly Manning, State Director of the Colorado SBDC, Laura Lewis Marchino, Executive Director of Region 9 Economic Development, Melanie Russek, San Juan County Recovery Coordinator
Read On

Meet One of Region 9's Loan Clients

victim Services Tracking software

Victim Services Tracking
Saves Time, Money and Lives

Founder, Randy Feuilly, created a tool to make his own life easier. Now his clients spend more time on the important stuff thanks to his product!
Read On

Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones

Interested in learning more? Join us November 7th in Durango for a learning session. Details will be announced on our Facebook page.
In April, the U.S. Department of the Treasury certified 126 Colorado Opportunity Zones which are now eligible for a new federal tax incentive. Opportunity Zones encourage economic growth through private capital investment by providing a tax incentive for investors to reinvest in disadvantaged communities.

Six tracts got approved from our 5-county region - one tract in Archuleta including most of Pagosa Springs, all of Dolores County, one tract in Montezuma including the Ute Mt Ute Reservation, all of San Juan County, and two tracts in La Plata including the southern portion of the County and parts of Durango.
Map of Colorado Opportunity Zones
Colorado Outdoors in the News: See How Region 10 Utilizes Opportunity Zones
More Info

Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrprenuers

With Help from SCAPE, Five Companies Look to Emerge from Startups

With the help of the SCAPE business accelerator, five companies look to emerge from startups. The businesses may be diverse, but they have a couple things in common: They are located in Southwest Colorado and they are using the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs to help to bring business ideas from startup to thriving job creators.


Impacted by Fire and Flood?
Impacted by Fire and Flood?

Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance

U.S. Small Business Administration Loans
Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado

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

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