(10/10/11) – When longtime Poultney print shop owner Chuck Colvin decided to retire, he knew he didn’t want to call it quits. The lifelong businessman wanted to help other entrepreneurs realize their dreams. His vision led to the development of the Poultney Small Business Center, a three-story 20,000-square-foot business rental space that opened in 2009. Chuck felt if he offered Vermont entrepreneurs retail, office and production space at very low rents, he would be able to revitalize the space and the community, while also helping business start-ups get their feet on the ground. He just wasn’t sure how to get the word out. That’s when Chuck turned to e-Vermont and the Vermont Small Business Development Center for help.

“I was delighted to hear from Chuck when he contacted me with his concept for the Small Business Center and jumped at the chance to be a part of the concept,” said e-Vermont Broadband Business Advisor Patrick Ripley. Chuck quickly got to work establishing a website and learning the basics of social media marketing. He worked individually with counselors from the SBDC and attended e-Vermont’s social media marketing workshop to better his understanding of broadband business marketing. These efforts led to the establishment of www.poultneysmallbusinesscenter.com and an ever-evolving social media presence.

As a result, Vermont entrepreneurs began to take notice of the Small Business Center and what it had to offer–including broadband access. Rental space continues to fill up at the downtown location and interest continues to grow. “We now have ten businesses with two more possible,” Chuck said. “It is starting to come alive.”

The building now houses artists, retailers, an interior designer and a print shop. “I love being here. The architectural details of the building are magnificent,” said Ginger Archer, owner of Ginger Jar Interior Designs and a tenant at the Small Business Center. “There’s camaraderie among the tenants,” she said.

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Photo: The Poultney Small Business Center in downtown Poultney, Vt. The business center offers low-cost rent to start-up businesses. It’s filling up fast, thanks to a new website and social media presence.