Telluride Foundation: $$$ Support for Biz Development in Norwood/West End

Telluride Foundation: $$$ Support for Biz Development in Norwood/West End

Telluride Foundation, in partnership with the West End Economic Development Corporation, awarded grant for economic development. U.S. Department of Commerce invests $844,941 to support business initiatives in Norwood  and the West End.

Recently the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that the Telluride Foundation, in partnership with the West End Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC), was awarded a grant for coal-impacted communities in the amount of $844,941.

With the impending closure of the Tri-State coal power plant and recent closure of the New Horizon Coal Mine, an economic boost to the West End economy is much needed good news. This grant will fund the “Advance West End” (AWE) Program in West Montrose and San Miguel counties, designed to foster the growth of small businesses and bring new economic opportunities to the region in the wake of the downturn of traditional local industries.

The project is funded under the 2018 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2018) program through which EDA awards monies on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. These funds target activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities. 

“We commend the Telluride Foundation for supporting the growth of small businesses across Colorado,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs Dennis Alvord. “This project will build on the region’s strengths by providing locally-based enterprises with the tools they need to be successful.”

The project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Region 10 Economic Assistance and Planning, which brought together public and private sectors in the West End to create an economic development roadmap. In addition, Trish Thibodo of the Department of Local Affairs, Rural Response, Recovery & Resilience (4Rs) Program, coordinated and facilitated the successful grant application.

The $844,941 grant was matched one to one with local cash and in-kind support, making this a $1.6 million investment into the West End and Norwood communities.

Key aspects of the AWE Project include: 1) Business development and entrepreneurship support; 2) tourism and place-making, with an emphasis on growing the year-round outdoor recreation industry and regional trail development; 3) creating an agriculture maker-space for food production and distribution, providing specialized agriculture-based, value-added production business support and access to shared ag/food-maker spaces and commercial kitchens in Norwood and Naturita; and 4) workforce development, through a pilot with Skillful, an initiative of the Markle Foundation, to provide training and match workforce skills to potential jobs. The AWE Project is expected to create or retain 23 jobs and spur $637,000 in private investment.

About the Telluride Foundation:

The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents and workforce of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical public community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprise. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values, including promoting inclusion and maximizing benefit to all. Our work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations.

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About West End Economic Development Corporation:

West End Economic Development (WEEDC) was founded in 2013 to further economic programs and develop business support programs for the communities of Nucla, Naturita, Norwood, Paradox, Redvale and Bedrock. WEEDC’s purpose is to create and encourage an inviting, pro-business environment, integrated with an independent spirit and friendly culture, while capitalizing on the natural and historic resources of the region.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration: 

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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