Leadership Pikes Peak hosting women’s program

Leadership Pikes Peak is accepting applications for the Spring 2007 Women’s Community Leadership Initiative.

WCLI is a program that educates and empowers women of diverse backgrounds to develop a deeper awareness of their potential to make a difference and become productive contributors to their communities. This opportunity is free for all participants accepted into the program, and runs for six months beginning in January.

For more information about the program, or for application packets, visit www.leadershippikespeak.org or call 632-2618. The application deadline is Nov. 30.

Applications for drought assistance being taken

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications through Nov. 17 for drought assistance in 24 eastern Colorado counties.

Cattle and sheep producers in Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowely, Custer, Elbert El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Philips, Prowers, Pueblo, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties are eligible.

To qualify, owners of foundation breeding herds of cattle and sheep must be able to demonstrate drought-incurred expenses, such as costs of hauling water, acquiring additional pasture, purchase of hay or other forage, etc.

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No more than $10,000 will be awarded to any eligible herd owner.

Foundation herds consist of breeding and replacement cows and bulls, ewes and rams. Foundation breeding herds do not include cattle under the age of 2 and sheep under the age of 1.

To apply, livestock owners should visit www.ag.state.co.us and go to the Livestock Assistance Grants page to download the application forms, which also are available at USDA Farm Services Agency offices and Colorado State University Cooperative Extension offices.

Completed forms should be mailed to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Livestock Assistance Grant Program, 700 Kipling St., Suite 4000, Lakewood, CO 80215.

For more info, call (303) 239-4187.

SCORE selects officers for 2006-07

Colorado Springs SCORE Chapter 206 has selected officer for 2006-07.

Ric Denton will serve as chairman. Mary Stern and Mark Sievers will serve as vice chairmen. Louise Walsh will be secretary and Mark Dittrich will be treasure.

SCORE offers confidential free business counseling and other services to potential and existing small businesses.

For more information or to set up an initial counseling session, call 636-3074.

Bristol’s Laughing Lab brings home the gold

Laughing Lab Scottish Ale won the top honor in the Scottish Ales category during the 25th annual Great American Beer Festival, held earlier this month in Denver.

It was the seventh GABF medal for the beer, which is brewed by Bristol Brewing Co. in Colorado Springs.

This year, 2,450 beers were judged in 69 categories.

SBA-backed loans reach sixth consecutive record

Small business turned to the U.S. Small Business Administration for commercial financing in record numbers during fiscal year 2006, setting records for the number of loans and the dollars loaned.

The SBA backed 100,197 loans totaling $19.1 billion as part of its two primary small business loan programs during the 12 months ending Sept. 30. The previous records were set last year, when the SBA provided 94,554 loans worth $18.1 billion under the same programs.

A third of the loans in FY 2006 went to minority borrowers, 32 percent were to start-up businesses, 22 percent were to business owned by women and 21 percent were to businesses in rural areas.

The 7(a) loan guarantee program — most often used for working capital — produced 90,477 loans worth $13.46 billion. The Certified Development Co., or 504 program, which is used for the purchase of real estate and fixed assets, provided 9,720 loans worth $5.61 billion.

For information about the SBA’s lending programs, visit www.sba.gov.