Governor Promises Help for Small Businesses During GJ Stop

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

Colorado is facing a $1 billion short fall in the next 18 months and Governor Ritter told 11 News while he stopped in Grand Junction Monday, that he plans to cut $600 million from the budget.

With those cuts he's promising programs that will create new jobs and help small businesses but some local business owners say help may not come fast enough.

Frank Michalek was at the "Surviving Tough Times" seminar looking for answers.

"I don't expect a magic pill solution. I don't think it's gonna happen," Michalek told 11 News on Monday.

But he did expect some ideas. He says this year could make or break he and his wife's small businesses.

"I think like most people you go into survival mode."

And with profits down to a third of what they used to be, he says it's not just his customers cutting back--he and his wife are too.

"People are tightening their belts without a doubt," said Michalek.

Frank Michalek is exactly the kind of person Governor Bill Ritter and the state are trying to target with seminars statewide.

"We're really concerned in these tough times about ensuring that we do all we can to prop them up," Ritter told 11 News on Monday.

Ritter says the state is doing better than most but if small businesses fail, it would be devastating to the economy since 50 percent of all jobs in Colorado are in small businesses.

"We're still in a little better shape but that doesn't mean we don't have to pay attention to this."

The Governor says he's re-instated a credit reserve program and a job creation tax credit but with mounting budget cuts, he's hoping the private sector will open up credit lines and kick in some cash.

Until then, he's got a word of advice for small business owners.

"Exhaust all alternatives before you make that really tough decision to close shop," said Ritter.

And that's exactly what Frank Michalek is doing but he doesn't think all businesses will be able to ride out the storm.

"There's gonna be a fallout right now."

But in a survival of the fittest business he's hoping the seminar will help him keep his doors open.

Governor Ritter will announce the details of his budget cuts Tuesday but told 11 news no area will be spared and there will be cuts across the board.

If you own a small business and could use some help, click on the link below to get in touch with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

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