San Luis Valley native Sonia Perez quickly established herself in the Adams State University School of Business after accepting the position as the executive director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “I am deeply committed to the idea that thriving small businesses are the backbone of a strong community.”
School of Business Director Liz Hensley, Ph.D., was instrumental in bring the SBDC back to campus. “I have the utmost confidence in Sonia and believe she will be a tremendous asset to the community as director of the SBDC.”
Having grown up in the San Luis Valley, forming meaningful relationships with people holds special significance to Perez. “It’s a personal commitment to contribute to the prosperity of the community I call home and build partnerships that benefit us all.”
Perez has already begun community outreach and building awareness of SBDC services. Her immediate goals include ensuring client engagement and support; providing assistance to businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; and establishing strategic partnerships with local entities, including a collaborative effort with Adams State. “Together we can identify and support incoming entrepreneurial students who are graduating, ensuring a seamless transition into the business community.”
By aligning resources and expertise, Adams State and the SBDC can provide students with tailored services, mentorship opportunities, and access to the SBDC’s comprehensive support network. “Through this partnership, we aim to foster a dynamic environment for business growth within the community and contribute to the long-term success of both the SBDC and the aspiring entrepreneurs we support,” Perez said.
The San Luis Valley SBDC maximizes economic potential through business consulting and training. With a mission to foster the growth of existing and new businesses, Perez said the goal is to empower emerging and existing entrepreneurs in taking control of their operations. The SBDC offers free guidance on funding, business development, and more, striving to support business growth and startups. “While we can’t eliminate risk, we minimize it by assisting with business plans, financial forecasts, marketing strategies, funding applications, and operational improvements.”
Perez will attend chamber of commerce meetings around the San Luis Valley and establish a strong presence in neighboring towns. “I look forward to reconnecting with familiar faces and forging new relationships as we work together towards shared success.”
A graduate of Sierra Grande High School, Perez earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management from Adams State. While attending college, she worked full-time in the Adams State Prison Education Program. She is bilingual and dedicated to the serving her community.
The Small Business Development Center program (SBDC) is an initiative of the Small Business Administration. SBDCs provide counseling and training to small businesses, with the purpose of supporting business start-ups and existing business expansion. “The prospect of playing a pivotal role in providing resources, guidance, and opportunities to small businesses in the San Luis Valley is immensely captivating. It’s a chance to contribute to the economic life of our community that I am passionate about and a meaningful step in my journey to make a positive impact on local businesses.”