November 26, 2012


If you want to increase your visibility on the Internet when someone searches for your business, watch this 13 minute video produced by Eric Spellmann.

November 23, 2012

Tax Workshop for the Self-Employed

$20 per person

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Taught by CPA Bob Gjellum

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Depot, Alamosa


Please RSVP to Donna at 589-3682 or

November 21, 2012

Start Your Own Business Workshop

         Start Your Own Business Workshop
(legal registration, EIN, sales tax and more)

Wed., December 5th 2012
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Del Norte Computer Center – 1025 Spruce Street in the La Hacienda Development
$10 per person; limited seating;
Scholarships available
$5 discount for chamber members
Please RSVP to the Small Business Development Center
 at 589-3682 or

Crestone Telecom is a Unique Business Model


        Ralph Abrams is the Executive Director of Crestone Telecom, LLC, is an innovative start-up company that delivers high speed broadband Internet and VoIP phone service to the Crestone/Baca/Moffat area in Southern Colorado.  They also incorporate local community involvement into their business model and offer membership share ownership of different levels in their LLC.
            Ralph often describes his life as hitting all the points of the wheel.  From an early age, Ralph worked the counter in his Dad’s wholesale supply house in Huntington Long Island, learning over 30,000 different electric parts, and how things went together as he helped the electrical contractors. 
            Along the way he learned how to drive a semi truck and eventually started a trucking business in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Often working 60-70 hour weeks, the company grew to eventually have 40 employees and generated close to four million dollars a year in revenue.  The general downtown in business in the late 1980’s inspired Ralph to shift his focus to renovating distressed properties around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan.  Once again, Ralph built a strong business of approximately 75 rental units and a positive cash flow.  Ralph says his skills are to watch the bottom line, get the best bang for the dollar, present a high quality product at a reasonable price, and always go the extra mile in terms of customer service.  These are the qualities instilled in him from the very earliest days working for his father.
            After studying Hinduism, and later Buddhism, he became deeply involved in spiritual communities, managed and directed a number of spiritual centers, which brought him to Crestone.  He started a construction business, building energy efficient, affordable housing, employed local sub contractors, and kept a crew of three working pretty steady until 2009 when the economic downtown hit Crestone and construction job opportunities became scarce.  It was then that Ralph asked himself: “What other economic base can Crestone use to help maintain economic stability?”  The answer was a reliable, high speed, internet service.  And thus began a year of inquiry, research, and grass roots effort that resulted in the formation of Crestone Telecom.  Ralph used the free and confidential services of the SLV Small Business Development Center, along with other local economic development groups in pursuit of developing this company.  You can visit to find out about the other founding members and the details of this unique business model.  To request the SBDC’s services, you may contact Donna Wehe at 589-3682.

November 20, 2012

Fraud Alert

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is notifying Colorado businesses of another possibly deceptive solicitation issued by “Compliance Services.” The entity has mailed solicitations titled “Annual Minutes Requirement Statement Directors and Shareholders” to businesses in Colorado. These solicitations offer to prepare documents to satisfy the annual minutes requirement for a $125.00 fee. Though most corporations are required to keep records of annual minutes, they are not required to file these records with any third party.

Although the solicitations contain disclaimers stating that “The preparation of minutes of annual meetings does not satisfy the requirement to file the Periodic Report required by COLORADO REVISED STATUTES Section 7-90-501,” the solicitation is creating confusion. Please be aware, the minutes of annual meetings are not required to be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office or any other government agency or third party. In addition, records of annual meetings are separate from the annual report filing with the Secretary of State’s Office, which for most businesses is just a $10 fee, online at

If you have any questions please contact us directly at 303-894-2200, then press 2, or

November 16, 2012

Veterans Workshop

Maximize Your Veteran Status
Free Workshop for Veteran Entrepreneurs
Friday, November 30, 2012
Depot, 610 State Avenue, Alamosa
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Presented by
Andra Hardgrave

Please RSVP to 589-3682
Refreshments Provided

Create Your Own Website Workshop

Create Your Own Website Workshop

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. November 29, 2012

Saguache Visitor Center
404 Fourth Street, Saguache

Please bring your laptop if you have one.

Cost of the workshop is $20 for non-chamber members
 $15.00 for chamber members

Refreshments will be provided.

RSVP to Donna Wehe at 589-3682

November 3, 2012

Photopgraphy Business Relocates in Alamosa

Mario Nicolas loves capturing magical moments in people’s lives by telling a story with their pictures.  He has a professional approach and unique technique which has become his life and his passion.  Whether the event is a wedding, high school photos, or a Quinceanera, Mario's approach is personable and relaxing.  He has spent hundreds of hours on his wedding videos to make them awesome and memorable. He is celebrating his third year anniversary of opening Kariz Productions, formerly located on State Avenue in Alamosa.  

Mario has been using the services of the Small Business Development Center (589-3682) to help him get started and grow his business.  He uses the counselors as a sounding board for business advice as his business has grown and really taken off this past year.  When asked about the photography versus the video, he said the photography is in much more demand but the video services are more unique.  "I don't have as much competition when it comes to the video production side of the business.  I enjoy doing both types, as they each challenge my creativity and skills in different ways."

"We used Mario for our wedding and we are so pleased with his prices and quality of photos," remarked several satisfied customers.  Mario first got into photography as a young boy as a hobby.  He worked all summer to save for his first camera and began by taking pictures of his family and friends.  He realized he was really good at it when he landed his first job, a Quinceanera.  "My equipment was much simpler back then.  I've come a long way."  His favorite events are weddings, Quinceaneras and senior portraits because of the reward of developing a relationship with his clients during such an intimate time in their lives. He is able to provide photography and video shoots for all types of events and wants everyone to know that he has relocated his business to his home studio and can be reached at (719) 580-7758. 
Call me for photo or video needs at (719) 580-7758