In a letter addressed to the Pueblo Community, the leadership of Mi Casa announced the permanent closing of the Pueblo center, effective June 30th, 2012.
Dear Esteemed Members of the Pueblo Community:
Mi Casa Resource Center has had the honor and privilege to operate the Women’s Business Center in Pueblo for the past 12 years.
During this time, Mi Casa has trained 900 aspiring entrepreneurs, provided individual counseling services to 1,320 existing businesses, and helped launch 325 new Southern Colorado businesses. Since 2000, the economic impact of these small businesses tops 450 jobs created, $4.6 million in capital obtained from lenders, and $13.6 million in revenue generated in local communities.
Similar to many of the small businesses that Mi Casa has worked with over the years, the recent economic recession has hit us hard. Many of the foundations, corporations and government agencies that Mi Casa has traditionally depended on for funding for the Women’s Business Center have scaled back on charitable giving as a result of the downturn. Others have redirected funding to emergency human services to care for families negatively impacted by the prolonged recession.
As a result, over the past few years Mi Casa has struggled to meet the matched funding required by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA is the sponsor and primary financial supporter of the Southern Colorado Women’s Business Center (WBC).
Mi Casa has worked extremely hard – with a tremendously capable and hardworking team in Cory, John and Roxanne – to try and raise the funding necessary to sustain Mi Casa’s small business development programs in Pueblo and other communities of Southern Colorado. We have pursued many avenues to generate the revenue necessary to operate business training and counseling programs, but sadly, our efforts have fallen short.
It is with great sadness that we inform you that the Mi Casa Women’s Business Center in Pueblo will close permanently effective June 30, 2012.
We deeply regret this situation. But due to our declining revenue sources and lack of fundraising success, we are left with no positive options.
The SBA is currently considering whether it will allow another organization to continue to operate a Women’s Business Center in Pueblo. However, this decision is still under consideration and involves evaluation of the SBA’s own resources, as well as the capacity of another group in Pueblo to take on the responsibilities of operating a WBC.
Please contact us with your concerns and questions: 719-542-0091.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Mi Casa Resource Center, we would like to express our deep gratitude to the citizens of Pueblo for supporting the Women’s Business Center for the past 12 years. We are greatly saddened and disappointed with the situation we face, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to serve this community.
Christine Marquez-Hudson Benita Duran
CEO/Executive Director Chair, Board of Directors