What is National SBDC Day?
Small business owners in Solano and Napa counties, and across the country, should make it a point to find out.
Small Business Development Centers, established in 1976, offer invaluable free resources to businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Resources include everything from financial assistance to developing business plans to marketing and more.
The Solano-Napa Small Business Development Center, part of the Northern California SBDC Network, has helped more than 1,700 businesses open and thrive in the two counties.
Highlights between 2020 and 2021 include:
- 475 jobs created,
- 78 companies created,
- $63 million in guaranteed capital,
- $17 million in new taxable revenue generated by customers,
- 1,671 companies received personalized advice,
- 9,107 total consulting hours provided, and
- 2,827 attendees at SBDC events.
Meanwhile in Vacaville, the association:
- Provided 253 hours of individual advice to 83 clients,
- Provided 64 training sessions for 1,223 participants,
- Helped secure $1.6 million in loans/equity for clients,
- Helped customers increase their annual sales by $1.9 million,
- Support for three companies in their start-up, and
- Customers created 35 new jobs.
Partnerships with agencies, including Solano County Workforce Development, have helped small business owners see their dreams come true, Solano-Napa SBDC Director Tim Murrill said Wednesday.
Collaborations with the WDB have been numerous, including Rebuild Solano’s Small Business Grant Program, Restaurant Resilience Program, and Solano’s Microenterprise COVID-19 Relief Grant.
In Napa, another micro-business grant is set to launch this summer, and an innovative business pitch competition at Napa Valley College will also begin.
As Murrill explained, the pitch competition will be aimed at high school students, college students, and community entrepreneurs. It will be like a local “Shark Tank”, with a touch of originality.
“It’s about giving them initial training and everything they need for their business plan,” he explained.
This way, participants will get a taste of business planning before presenting their pitch. Win or lose, they will know what goes into being a business owner and how to go from idea to reality.
“Owning small businesses is hard work,” advised Murrill, as a former business owner himself. “We have to take all the risks.
Add to that all the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic – like labor shortages, supply chain shutdowns and inflation – and becoming a homeowner is that much harder.
“What we do at SBDC is more important than ever,” the director stressed.
Last year, the organization saw about three new clients each week. This year? Increase that to 10.
Heather Henry, president and executive director of the Workforce Development Council, said the two agencies’ continued collaboration has had an impact.
“We believe that having the SBDC hosted by the Workforce Development Board creates a lot of synergy,” she said, adding that the entities only fit in with their mission to help the community.
While the WDB focuses on a client’s talents, she said, the SBDC focuses on services. Together they help clients move towards success.
“It’s kind of a full-service solution,” Murrill explained.
He also credits much of the credit to his staff, who he says makes everything possible, and to his advisory board.
He shared a message for struggling business owners: “When it comes to starting or growing your business, you don’t have to do it alone,” Murrill emphasized. ” We are here. … To reach. We exist to support small business success.
He also imparted some wisdom: “None of us are as smart as all of us.”
For more information, visit solanonapasbdc.org.