MONTROSE – Officials at the Region 10 League Economic Assistance and Planning are expecting yet another positive year in 2013, with a slate of new programs and initiatives.
The nonprofit organization established in 1972 provides services – to Gunnison, Hinsdale, Delta, Ouray, Montrose and San Miguel counties, and 16 municipalities within those counties – that are more cost effective when provided regionally than individually.
Services offered come from a range of organizations, including the Area Agency on Aging, the Business Loan Fund, Enterprise Zone Tax Credit programs, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee and its Enterprise Center Business incubator. Overall, Region 10’s service volumes increased in 2012. The Business Loan Fund closed on 10 loans in 2012, totaling over $435,000 in funding, to small businesses.
Last year, Region 10 approved $2,735,000 in business tax credits as part of its Enterprise Zone Business Tax Credit program. The program marked a record-breaking year, encouraging $2,140,000 in donations to projects conducted by 21 nonprofits resulting in $536,000 in tax credits to donors. Overall the program helped create 264 new jobs in the six-county region.
New Region 10 Executive Director Michelle Haynes, who took the reins last December following the retirement of Paul Gray, said Region 10 does excellent work in leveraging resources.
“I have been really impressed with the work we do,” Haynes said. “I am always surprised by how much Region 10 does with such a small staff.”
Region 10’s Area Agency on Aging supported 11 regional services contractors in 2012, providing $989,606 in senior services. This year, Region 10 aims to assist even more residents with its new Community Living Services, encompassing – and expanding upon – services and resources the Area Agency on Aging provides to those 60 and older. The new Community Living Services will work to extend those services and more to younger, disabled residents in need of assistance.
“It will serve seniors as well as disabled adults,” Haynes said. Already the Area Agency on Aging provides transit programs, homemaking services, legal aid services and others. “Now it will help provide counseling, referral and case management to support residents to keep them in their homes as long as possible.”
Eva Veitch, former director of Outreach for Volunteers of America, joined Region 10 earlier this month as the program coordinator of Community Living Services. Over the next five years, Veitch hopes to fill any service gaps by ensuring all residents who need the programs services to get them.
“We really want to make sure that the people who need resources are aware of and have access to them,” Veitch said. “Those of us who work in senior care are well aware of the gaps that exist for people who are not yet age 60; there are many resources for those over 60, but we field so many calls from people who are 55 and desperately need things like income-based housing.”
Region 10’s assistance programs for small businesses will be expanding this year as well. Already Region 10’s Enterprise Center Business Incubator, which provides office space at the Region 10 Enterprise Center in Montrose for affordable lease rates, saves emerging businesses who lease space approximately $48,000 in rent annually. This year, Region 10 plans to launch a small business resource center.
“We are just getting ready to launch this,” Haynes said. “We hope to launch it with entrepreneurship day on April 3. This program will being more small business training to the area like how to read financial statements, how to monitor your business, how to develop a strategic plan, how do you start a business. I am really looking forward to that.”
As Region 10 continues to provide a large number of these services, the agency has also updated its website to improve communication with member municipalities and communities throughout the region. Announced on March 13, Region 10’s website now offers improved navigation and updated design thanks to Leanna Johnson at Treefeather Creative.
“After meeting with the people at Region 10, we decided it was time to update the site with intuitive navigation, lots of helpful resources, and a fresh new design that would help guide users to where they want to be,” Johnson said. “It was also important for them to easily update the site in order to keep their audience informed about upcoming events, and news from the organization and the community.”
“It was wonderful to work with Leanna and Treefeather Creative to enhance our web presence and better serve our communities,” said Haynes. “We are very pleased with the result, and hope that you are, as well.”
To learn more about what Region 10 provides, visit its new website at region10.net or call 970/249-2436.