Business Briefs – 3/21/2008

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Heller Center receives grant

The State Historical Fund, a program of the Colorado Historical Society, will provide a more than $90,000 grant to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to develop a master plan and historic structure assessment for the Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities.
As part of the agreement, the State Historical Fund will assign a historic preservation specialist to work with the university to assess the historical value of the building and to create a master plan for the Heller site. Specialists in areas such as landscape architecture will be consulted to ensure appropriate expertise is brought to the project.
The structures on the site — a gallery, a guest house and a main house — were built by the Hellers using a wide variety of local materials during a span of more than 60 years. Some of the structures are in poor condition, although classes meet regularly in a building previously used as a gallery.
The goal is for the Heller Center to meet academic and community needs in a setting that preserves an important part of Colorado Springs history, Christensen said.
The Colorado Springs-based Bee Vradenberg Foundation also contributed $3,000 to assist the university in meeting a matching requirement in the State Historical Fund grant.
Dorothy Heller died in 1999, leaving the property west of campus, as well as five buildings and her late husband Larry’s artwork, to the university. The Hellers requested the site be used to celebrate the humanities, accommodating retreats, workshops, exhibits and visiting artists.

CHFA helping Habitat

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority has allocated nearly $7.5 million toward a mortgage and purchase program for Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Colorado.
CHFA will buy mortgages from Habitat affiliates, freeing up capital for Habitat to build more homes. CHFA will honor the zero percent fixed interest rates and original repayment structure.

Ethical business awards

Four Colorado companies have received 2008 Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance awards.
IMA Financial Group and InsureMe received the CEBA Business Ethics Award. Beacon Center is the Samaritan Institute Award honoree for nonprofit organizations and Walt Imhoff of Stifel, Nicolaus-Hanifen Imhoff Division is the Daniel Ritchie Award honoree for individual achievement in business ethics.
For more information about the CEBA, visit

Hanson dealer of the year

Hanson HotSpring Spas has received the 2007 Dealer of the Year Award from Watkins Manufacturing Corp.
The company is owned by Andy Rusk.

SFP top new firm

Strategic Financial Partners of Colorado Springs has been named Top New Firm of the Year by Securian Financial Network.
SFP has 49 full- and part-time financial advisers.

Federal contracts course

The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched Business Opportunities: A Guide to Winning Federal Contracts.
The free online course, available at, uses both script and audio to provide information about the $400 billion federal market, contract rules, where to find contract opportunities and how to sell to the government. It is one of 24 tutorials offered by the SBA.

Recycling grants

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is accepting grant applications for waste diversion and recycling projects. The department has $1.2 million available for 2008.
Entities eligible to apply are: public government agencies (including universities and schools), private sector organizations whose projects benefit their local communities, and out-of-state companies or organizations that are expanding or relocation to Colorado or have an in-state presence.
Applications are available at The deadline is March 28.

Exporting awards

Applications are being accepted from Colorado companies for the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting. The awards recognize companies that demonstrate a commitment to international trade.
Export businesses of any size or industry may apply. Winners will be recognized at World Trade Day on May 1.
Completed applications are due by March 28. For more information, or to request and application, contact Thomas Binet at or (303) 892-3813.

Governor’s Arts Awards

Nomination forms are available for the 2008 Governor’s Arts Award, which is given annually to a city or town that has effectively utilized the arts to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of its community.
Grand Junction won during 2007.
Nomination forms are available at the Colorado Council on the Art’s Web site,, or by calling (303) 892-3802. The deadline to apply is April 4.

PPFC needs volunteers

Pikes Peak Family Connections Inc. needs volunteers to work with at-risk children.
The organization’s Nurturing Parenting Program Classes, offered on weeknights, need children’s co-facilitators and childcare volunteers to help teach children whose parents are taking the classes.
KPC Kids’ Place, a free crisis and respite nursery, needs volunteers to work with children whose families need emergency childcare.
For more information, call Jennifer Clarke at 442-6336 or 520-1019.

Family volunteers needed

Pikes Peak Family Connections Inc. needs volunteers for all its programs.
The organization’s goal is to help prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. Volunteers are needed to work with children and families and to help plan events.For more information, contact Jennifer Clarke at 442-6336 or

CSPA Media Guide available

The Colorado Springs Press Association Media Guide is now available.
The guide provides listings of newspapers, radio and television stations, reporters and other outlet contacts for El Paso and Teller counties.
The cost is $35, and an electronic version of the guide will be sent after payment is received. Check should be made payable to the Colorado Springs Press Association and mailed to P.O. Box 1951, Colorado Springs, CO 80901.

State Games registration

Online registration for amateur athletes is now open at for the inaugural State Games of the West, July 24-27, in Colorado Springs.
About 8,000 competitors of all ages and skill levels from 13 Western states are expected to participate in the event, which offers 31 sports.
The State Games of the West, which is being hosted by the Colorado Springs Sports Corp., is open to all State Games athletes from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. All participants are eligible by competing in their local State Games during 2008 regardless of their placement.
Wyoming athletes will be welcome even though the Cowboy State Games ceased operations after last summer.
Athletes will compete at 24 venues including the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado College, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Fort Carson. The opening ceremony is scheduled for July 24 at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
The state’s annual Rocky Mountain State Games for Colorado athletes will be folded into the State Games of the West, as they were during 2005 and 2007 when the city hosted the national State Games of America.
A record 10,803 athletes from 47 states participated in the 2007 State Games of America in Colorado Springs, with an economic impact of some $11 million, and the event returns to the city in 2009. It now ranks as the largest multi-sport event in Colorado history.