Small Business Development
"We have to do a better job of linking up our people to the resources that are there, whether they are local or regional. That’s the need. People have the resources out there. So we have to be diligent in politely bashing down their door. …If the guy is an expert in developing business plans, and a wood worker needs some direction, I need to go make that guy come help him. …Who really has the tools and how can I fit them in for our needs here?"
Most rural community businesses in the timber industry had little or no experience at systematic, organized business development. Even a business plan was a foreign concept for many. However, to the advantage of the FCSFP model of community-based efforts, small business development support services can come from existing sources; nothing new has to be created to meet the need. Regular state programs, such as those activated through the Revolving Loan Fund, can provide needed services. Resource, Conservation and Development Districts (RC&D), county economic development councils, community colleges, and others are already involved in some areas. Enhancing their role is one clear opportunity awaiting attention. They are already part of the infrastructure.
A number of community-based service providers have been involved in supporting businesses associated with the FCSFP. They include Pioneer Community College in northeastern Arizona, small-business development consultants Randy Johnson and Dawn Gardner out of Colorado State University, Region 9 Economic Development District in Durango, Colorado, Grant County Economic Development Council in Silver City New Mexico, Wayne County Development Council in south-central Utah, and Southern Utah University Economic Development Office in Cedar City.