Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Keynote Speaker and Finalists for 2014 Small Business of the Year Awards

May 14, 2014 | Chamber News

Anticipation has built with new announcements for the 2014 Small Business of the Year Awards.

DuWayne Peterson, Angel-in-Residence at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere and co-founder of Colorado Angels, will be the keynote speaker for the event.

The nine finalists for the awards have also been announced. For the small category (0-10 employees) finalists include: Aggie Plumbing & Service, Inc., Babette’s Feast and Mantooth Marketing Company. For the medium category (11-50 employees) finalists include: Aspen Grove Veterinary Care, Exponential Engineering Company and RB+B Architects. For the large category (51-200 employees) finalists include: Green Ride Co., Inc., High Country Beverage and Wolf Robotics.

The 2014 Small Business of the Year Awards will be presented at the Celebrating Small Business Awards & Luncheon event on May 21, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. at the Fort Collins Marriott located at 350 E. Horsetooth, Fort Collins, Co. Registration to attend is open until 4 p.m. on Friday, May 16 at or by calling (970) 482-3746.

The Small Business of the Year Awards & Luncheon will celebrate small businesses and their contributions to Fort Collins and is part of an all day Celebration of Business that features a breakfast event hosted by the City of Fort Collins, free educational sessions presented by area resources and a Spring Business Showcase hosted by the Chamber that will be open to the public in the evening.

The Small Business of the Year Luncheon is presented by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by First National Bank, Fort Collins Co, Bank of the West, Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, Ward Petroleum Corporation, Mantooth Company, JAX Mercantile, Banner Health Services, Old Town Media, Inc. and AlphaGraphics.

Over 40 companies were nominated to receive the Small Business of the Year Awards. There will be one winner in each of the three categories.

About 200 business professionals and community leaders are expected at the Small Business of the Year luncheon. Individual ticket prices are $40 per person for Chamber members and $50 per person for non-members. A table of 10 people is $350.


The Small Business of the Year Award Luncheon is just one part of a full day celebrating business at the Fort Collins Marriott. You are also invited to join the City of Fort Collins and business leaders for a Business Appreciation Breakfast hosted by the City’s Economic Health Office. The event will be held on Wednesday, May 21, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Fort Collins Marriott.

Aaron Kennedy, the founder of Noodles & Company who just completed a two-year assignment as Chief Marketing Officer for the State of Colorado, will be the keynote speaker at the City of Fort Collins Business Appreciation Breakfast.

Mayor Karen Weitkunat and other City officials will join Kennedy at the breakfast celebrating local businesses. There is no charge to attend the breakfast, but space is limited and registration is required at


After the City of Fort Collins Business Appreciation Breakfast, join the City and the Chamber for special education opportunities:

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. : Section 108 Loan Program: The City has been approved for a $5 million loan through the Section 108 program that it will make available to private businesses and/or non-profits that are relocating or expanding within the city limits. The City would like to leverage private investment so existing businesses can relocate and/or expand within city limits in order to create jobs and revitalized distressed areas while providing a means to facilitate the creation and/or rehabilitation of affordable housing units. Join us to learn more about this new loan program and how you can get involved as a banker or business with at least two years of operation.

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. : SBDC and Larimer County Workforce Center Walk Up Consulting and Information: America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network is a partnership of federal, state, higher education, and private resources. There are over 900 SBDC centers throughout the US, with the mission of offering training and confidential free consulting for small businesses. The Larimer County SBDC conducted over 110 low-cost training classes in 2013 covering a wide range of business issues, and conducted over 1700 hours of confidential free one-on-one consulting for both existing businesses and start-ups. Stop by to learn more about the Larimer County SBDC or visit them at or 970-498-9295. You can also learn about the resources available from the LarimerCountyWorkforceCenter including tools to help with your next employee search.


And the fun doesn’t stop there! Join the Fort Collins Chamber for a Business After Hours Tradeshow where you can mingle with fellow members, check out exhibitors and enjoy food and drinks at the newly remodeled Fort Collins Marriott on Wednesday, May 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The 2nd Annual Business After Hours Tradeshow proudly sponsored by The Fort Collins Marriott will feature a format similar to a typical tradeshow but will be condensed into a 3 hour period of time (4:30 to 7:30 pm). The tradeshow is partnered with the ever-popular Business After Hours event, allowing vendors to maximize their time in front of potential clients. The Business After Hours consistently generates 150-200 community members. Registration is $13 for members and $30 for non-members to attend the After Hours.

Last year, exhibit booths for this event sold out two weeks prior to the event. With that in mind the chamber has increased their number of booths to 45, giving more members the opportunity to showcase their products.

Booth prices are $200 which includes a 6 foot skirted table, linens, 2 chairs, electricity, WiFi and 2 tickets to Business After Hours. Booth placement is first come, first served.

Booth reservations and Business After Hours registration are now available online at