The Small Business Finance Forum at Auraria campus was one of a series that traveled throughout the state in December to help small businesses survive the ongoing financial crisis.  Investment firms clamored for attention at the Tivoli Building near the Pepsi Center in Denver just before Christmas.

Walking past Chase and Wells Fargo, I stepped into a crowded suit-dominated function last Tuesday. Booths lined the room representing nearly every bank and credit union in the city of Denver. Counseling sessions were going on, with some of Denver’s best-kept-secret business gurus doling out free tips on how not to let your investments tank in the new year.

At the far end of the room was a stage upon which Gov. Bill Ritter gave a small press conference. As part of his continued focus on Colorado’s economy, Ritter commented “Colorado has a much higher concentration of small businesses than other states, and it’s vital we do all we can to help them survive this national financial crisis.”

It was a biting cold day outside and the characters onstage reminded me of a scene from a Private Eye movie, with Ritter standing surrounded by bodyguards and paparazzi. “Small businesses are the backbone of Colorado’s economy,” Ritter said. An enormous bulb went off as the camera flashed, and a man in a tan trenchcoat and sand-colored fedora hat ushered the governor backstage.


I headed upstairs to find my adviser. The loft at Turnhalle was scattered with tables and chairs and people. Relying on credit can be devastating. Our duty to spend money wisely is no longer just a patriotic gambit, but a global responsibility.

The message I got was to keep expenses to a minimum, old-school style. As I made my way to different bank booths downstairs, I began to realize the simplest advice can be the hardest to follow. Talking about cutting expenses is one thing but can I really go without my daily Starbucks latte?

Taken from MY Business & Finance Column, Women’s Business Examiner: