By Tom Dixon

May 3, 2017


Casper

 

A Casper woman has earned Wyoming’s 2017 Small Business Person of the Year award for her steady leadership and the creation of an inclusive workplace.

Janie Wait, president of Intermountain Records, has seen it all in the 34 years her family has owned the business. She took the reins following her father’s death and has guided the state’s only full-service document management company past many pitfalls.

Most recently, she watched half her business disappear in 2010 when demand for her microfilm services evaporated. Wait turned to the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, an entrepreneur resource center and partner organization of the Wyoming Business Council, the state’s economic development agency.

Experts at the Small Business Development Center helped Wait redesign the company website and evaluate the market for new opportunities for Intermountain Records. Wait stabilized her business then was pleased to find the demand for microfilm services return, which only added to her profits.

Wait also relied on the Small Business Development Center for valuation assistance, and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services when she has experienced severe labor shortages.

Today, Wait employs 14 people. She seeks out workers with disabilities.

“I think the work and advocacy she does in that community is inspirational,” said Cindy Unger, a U.S. Small Business Administration advisor who nominated Wait for the award.

About 90 percent of Wyoming’s 34,000 businesses employ fewer than 20 people. Helping small firms like Wait’s gain one or two jobs has a magnified effect on the state’s economy.

State resources such as the University of Wyoming’s Small Business Development Center, Manufacturing-Works and the Business Council can help others like Wait create business plans, secure loans for expansion, learn to export, operate leaner and nimbler, and add jobs.

 

This National Small Business Week, we celebrate the partnerships like Intermountain Records’ that help Wyoming’s economy grow. Visit wyomingbusiness.org for more information.

Entrepreneur

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