Entrepreneurs make the world go ‘round. They envision, create, develop, grow and innovate. They try new ideas that many us can’t even conceive. Young entrepreneurs can be especially successful because they aren’t held back by fear or conformation to the status quo. They’re energetic and typically have fewer responsibilities. And they’re the people that the Chamber’s Ag & Natural Resources Committee are seeking for the second annual Youth Business Ventures Competition.

This year’s competition is open to all Sheridan County youth ages 8 (by Jan. 1, 2019) to 18 and gives potential young entrepreneurs the opportunity to win up to $500 in seed money to start a new business or to grow an existing business related to agriculture or natural resources. They will also be paired with a mentor to assist with business development. Those selected will then have a chance midway through the year to present an update on their business and potentially receive an additional $500 in funding.

This is such a fantastic opportunity for not only youth in our area, but also for our community to nurture and encourage innovation, hard work and new businesses for the area. The Chamber is incredibly grateful to the businesses and organizations providing funding for this event: AgTerra Technologies, Inc., Three Peaks Real Estate, Sheridan Local Foods and the Chamber’s Ag and Natural Resources Committee.

Written business plans are due to the Chamber on April 19, and applicants must be available to present their plans in person to the committee May 2. A workshop and question/answer session will be held at the Chamber Office at 171 N. Main St. on March 19. Those attending the workshop are asked to pre-register by calling 307-672-2485 or emailing Karen Myers at kmyers@sheridanwyomingchamber.org.

To learn more about in the competition and to download an application packet, see the Chamber’s website at www.sheridanwyomingchamber.org or stop by the Chamber Office.

The Chamber kicked off February by celebrating excellence in business. At the Chamber’s annual business awards lunch we recognized the nominees and announced the recipients of the 2018 Awards of Excellence. As with past years, this year’s line-up of nominees was top-notch. As voted by our members, the awards recipients were: Amy Albrecht, executive director of the Center for a Vital Community, Spirit of Sheridan Award; Advocacy & Resource Center, Key Service Award; Whitney Benefits, Inc., Strength of Sheridan Award; Landon’s Greenhouse & Nursery, Small Business Award; Kennon, Large Business Award; and Jessica Garrelts, owner of Cottonwood Kitchen + Home, Business Person of the Year Award. Congratulations to all!

And finally, I would like to give major kudos to The Sheridan Press for all the work they put into producing the Chamber’s 2019 Community Guide and Member Directory. This is the fourth year in a row that we have partnered with The Press on this project, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. Be sure to check it out! This publication serves as our official relocation guide for 2019. It’s available at the Chamber Office, 171 N. Main St., and at The Sheridan Press, 144 Grinnell Plaza, as well as other distribution areas across the county. If you would like a supply for your office, let us know by calling 307-672-2485 or email info@sheridanwyomingchamber.org.


Jodi Hartley is the marketing and communications director for the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.