PUEBLO — September 13 marks the beginning of Small Business Week for cities all across the country, but the Southern Colorado Small Business Development Center is taking extra steps to help educate and promote local businesses.
Located in Downtown Pueblo, the SBDC is highlighting small businesses from Monday through Friday in and around the Steel city.
"To know that we’re not forgotten is a wonderful thing," said LaDoris Burton, Owner of Designs by LaDoris and the SBDC's Small Business of the Year recipient.
LaDoris took a leap of faith four years ago, leaving a seamstress job at a dry cleaners to start her own business in Pueblo. She came across the resources offered by the SBDC, like the classes and seminars they are offering in honor of Small Business Week.
“The first 5 weeks, I cried every single class, because I felt so overwhelmed there was so much I did not know," said Burton.
However, Brian Estrada, Executive Director of SBDC, says Burton is deserving of this year's award because of how far she has come as an entrepreneur.
“LaDoris is just one big piece of this for me, LaDoris is a big success in my mind,” said Estrada.
Burton works with Pueblo Diversified Industries to train people with disabilities, giving them skills that will make them employable.
"You don’t think about how you can contribute to that, but it has absolutely been so awesome I love it. I love it, love it, love it.”
She intends on hiring two of her current apprentices when she sees they are ready.
“Those that can work are working with LaDoris to cut patterns and do everything, so LaDoris has a workforce now... She’s educating,” said Estrada.
“I don’t think people realize that more money goes into our community and it helps everything if they do shop small businesses.”