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New businesses boom in Colorado amid tough times

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Posted at 4:00 AM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 09:20:27-04

COLORADO — Colorado saw many new businesses pop up amid the pandemic, and it's something the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center says is typical during difficult times.

Oftentimes, people turn to entrepreneurship when the going gets tough.

Data from the Secretary of State's office shows new business filings reached a new high in 2021 at 157,828. In the first quarter of 2022, filings were up compared to the last quarter in 2021. Still, it shows a trend of more and more people taking the leap into their own business.

"Every time there's a problem, there's a solution to fill that gap and people are experiencing it at an unprecedented rate right now," Steve Imke with the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center said.

Imke works with people trying to get their small businesses up and running. Between the economic uncertainty and supply chain issues, many people are seeing it as an opportunity to create their own path.

"It used to be you had to create something of mass appeal to be able to get into it but now we live in what I call the long tail economy," Imke said, "you can find a very small slice of that small tail and you'd be the only one in that particular industry."

The pandemic is part of the reason Lori Morrissey created her ice cream sandwich truck business "Lori Lynn's Cookies and Cream".

Morrissey started virtual baking classes during the pandemic, and then she realized she could turn her passion of baking into a business of her own.

"I discovered that I really wanted to be out with people, but to get people also out together and building community and somehow I just needed to get my cookies to be a part of that," Morrissey said.

She's now growing her ice cream truck business with the possibility of opening a brick-and-mortar location.

Getting her business up and running is something Russ Ware, owner of several businesses in downtown Colorado Springs such as Wild Goose Meeting House & Epiphany is all too familiar with.

"I think there's a lot of us out there that aren't business owners yet that sort of have that bug," Ware said in talking about the increase of new businesses in Colorado Springs.

Ware started his first business in the springs about a decade ago and has grown into multiple businesses in the area.

"We really saw potential and thought we were at the front end of something and we were right," Ware said.

For the hundreds getting into entrepreneurship in Colorado Springs he has some advice.

"If this is what you really want to do and believe in, go for it," Ware said.

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