Small Businesses In Manufacturing Find Success With Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEdge Program

November 9, 2017 – Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEdge (SMA), a program designed to assist small businesses in Colorado’s manufacturing industry, has seen great success in its initial two years of programming. Economic development numbers released this week show that companies who have participated in the program have not only increased sales but also created and retained jobs as well.

More than 115 companies across the state have applied to the program which provides direct assistance in the form of consulting and training expertise to small manufacturing companies in Colorado. Sixty-five of these companies have been accepted into the program and have received some type of development assistance.

To date, participating SMA companies report more than $1.5 million in increased company sales, 85 jobs created, 43 jobs retained, and over $5.5 million in capital formation.

This economic development strategy is a first of its kind partnership in the nation, leveraging expertise from various entities across the State including the Small Business Development Center Network, Manufacturer’s Edge, World Trade Center Denver, and the Procurement and Technical Assistance Center.

SMA leverages state and federal funding, including the Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant, along with a small company contribution. The services provided to selected companies include: lean process training, facility layouts, ISO quality management system support, digital marketing strategies, supply chain management, market diversification, and strategic planning.

The program aims to make the assistance, expertise, and trainings attainable to small, growing companies and provide them with similar advantages available to larger fortune 500 firms. Manufactuers located in Colorado with fewer than 20 full-time employees are encouraged to apply for SMA at

Marney Zafian, owner of Element Pet Nutrition in Ridgeway, Colorado was able to leverage the program to implement lean process techniques and revamp the production processes. Through the assistance of SMA, Element Pet Nutrition was able to increase company sales by $250,000 and hire four additional employees.

“Not only did I learn a great deal from the consultants and training, but I was able to produce solid projections on productivity, which led to raising seed funding in my business,” said Marney. “I even had the luxury of choosing the investor of my choice.”