SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington Small Business Development Centers is celebrating its 25th year of providing professional management, technical assistance and training to thousands of the state’s small business clients.

With its mission to “Help Small Businesses Thrive and Grow,” the SBDC has built a network of 27 counseling and training centers statewide and has been a powerful force of economic growth.

Results 1980-2004:

  • Served more than 72,000 clients without charge;
  • Assisted in capital formation of almost $800 million;
  • Saved or created nearly 45,000 jobs;
  • Offered more than 8,000 low-cost classes to nearly 119,000 attendees.

The financial impact of the SBDC on the state is significant:

  • The state received almost $8 million in additional sales tax in 2003 from the increased sales of SBDC clients after they received business counseling from the network. 
  • Clients who used the Washington SBDC had 24 percent sales growth in 2003, while businesses that did not had sales that grew by only 3.2 percent. 
  • Employment growth for SBDC clients was 6 percent while other Washington businesses had only 0.2 percent growth on average.
  • Total jobs created or saved by the SBDC network in 2003: 1,207.

The first of many events to toast the SBDC anniversary will be April 14 at the Small Business Resource fair hosted by Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake.  For more information about this event, contact Kate Holstein, public information officer, at (509) 793-2003. To get involved in the other celebrations across the state in the coming year, contact an SBDC network office near you.

The SBDC is a cooperative effort funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Washington State University through its College of Business and Economics, with assistance from Western Washington University, community colleges and economic development organizations.

For more information on the SBDC and to locate a counselor or workshop in your area, go online to www.wsbdc.org.