PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. – Elaine Jones has been named the new Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advisor for the Olympic Peninsula, taking over from Kathleen Purdy, who retired at the end of September.
The Washington SBDC is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other institutions of higher education and economic development.
During her 17 years with the SBDC, Purdy assisted nearly 2,000 business owners and those buying or starting a small business. According to her clients, Purdy’s advising was key to helping them access more than $35 million in capital and save or create more than 1,000 jobs.
Jones, who has been the SBDC advisor in Bremerton since 2010, is in the process of moving offices. She plans to start meeting with clients in Clallam and Jefferson counties on a full-time basis in early November.
“I’m excited about being in an area where small businesses play such a vital role in close-knit communities,” Jones said. She looks forward to helping business owners – and, by extension, their communities – not just survive, but thrive.
“The past few years have been challenging, but with solid data and careful planning, small business owners are finding new opportunities,” she said. She’s also looking forward to collaborating with area economic development and WSU Extension groups to ensure small business needs are being met.
SBDC advising is by appointment only, with offices in both Port Townsend and Port Angeles. To reach the Port Townsend office, call 360-344-3078; to reach the office in Port Angeles, call 360-417-5657.
Before joining the SBDC, Jones was a small business consultant and also consulted on technology transfer issues. Her experience ranges from program development, planning and public relations/governmental affairs for large engineering firms to owning a company that specialized in geriatric massage. She has an MBA and a master’s degree in technology commercialization.
The Washington SBDC, a program of the U.S. Small Business Administration and WSU, has provided one-to-one business advising, at no cost, to entrepreneurs and small business owners across the state for more than 30 years.
As a certified business advisor, Jones is part of a network of more than 25 SBDC business advisors across the state who have demonstrated proficiency in all aspects of small business development and have particular expertise in areas such as manufacturing, engineering, high-tech innovation, retail sales and business management.
In 2011, Washington SBDC advisors met with more than 2,800 small business owners and developed an ongoing advising relationship with nearly 90 percent of them. Those clients credited their SBDC advisors with helping them create or save more than 600 jobs and secure nearly $30 million in capital. During 2011, the Washington SBDC helped in the formation of 118 new businesses.
The Washington SBDC network also includes four international trade specialists who assist small business clients who are new-to-export or looking to expand their export operations.
For more information about the Washington SBDC, go to http://www.wsbdc.org