VANCOUVER, Wash. – The Vancouver office of the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has moved to 11700 NE 95th St., Suite 102, in the Eastridge Business Park at the corner of NE 95th and 117th Avenue.
Janet Harte, an SBDC certified business advisor who has worked with small business owners in Vancouver since 1987, said the location offers greater visibility and more flexibility. The larger space can accommodate activities such as group training, she said, while also providing space for the confidential, one-to-one advising that is at the heart of the SBDC mission.
Harte and her colleague, SBDC business advisor Buck Heidrick, provide clients with no-cost expert advising to help them grow or strengthen their businesses.
$380,000 in capital, 16 jobs in one year
While their clients are the experts on their own small businesses, Harte said, she and Heidrick often can help them find the information they need – or help them develop their own skills – in areas such as getting and keeping customers, developing cost-cutting strategies, analyzing financial statements, making good staffing decisions, acquiring capital and managing cash flow, buying or selling a business, market research, succession planning, management training and exporting to markets around the world.
Sometimes a client will come to the SBDC with a specific question and will leave satisfied after one meeting, Harte said. More often, she and a client will talk about short-term and long-term goals and will meet periodically over several months or years as they work collaboratively to meet those goals.
In 2010, Harte and Heidrick met in-depth with more than 70 small business owners in the Vancouver area to provide assistance on everything from loan applications and cash-flow analysis to record keeping and market research. According to clients, their efforts were directly responsible for helping them raise more than $380,000 in capital and creating or saving at least 16 jobs.
About the SBDC
The Vancouver SBDC office is part of the Washington Small Business Development Network, with 24 offices across the state and two international export trade centers. The Washington SBDC has been providing one-to-one business advising, at no cost, to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state for more than 30 years.
The Washington SBDC is part of the American SBDC network, which was founded in 1979 as a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. colleges and universities and economic development agencies. The American SBDC is comprised of more than 1,000 SBDC centers and networks in all 50 states.
Find the certified business advisor nearest you by going to the website at http://www.wsbdc.org and entering your zip code at the top of the page.