Small Business Development Center Focuses on Economic Development


The Small Business Development Center (SBDC)at Central Oregon Community College (COCC)is one of nineteen centers throughout the state that work with many businesses from start-up to larger traded sector companies offering many programs that include training and one-on-one advising. In the past year the center has worked with over 370 clients creating 28 jobs and adding$1,350,000 in capital infusion to those businesses. The goal of the SBDC is to have a positive impact on the growth and sustainability of Central Oregon businesses. 

The outlook for many of these businesses is improving and will continue to get better throughout 2014. Many factors are contributing to this dynamic, including the availability of capital and an economy that is beginning to gain some steam. Consumer confidence continues to rise, driving spending at the retail level with business conditions improving, causing companies to look at growth strategies and opportunities once more.

“We are seeing more businesses that have weathered the last few years and kept the doors open; now they want to move their businesses forward,” said Steve Curley, director of the center at COCC. “They have been able to manage costs and keep their revenues stable, but now they see the opportunity to grow and that’s where we can help them. Our mission is to help them build a business that works for them.”

In this improving climate of growth, the SBDC is available to help businesses take advantage of these opportunities. The Small Business Development Center has many resources for businesses that will assist them right where they are and help them get to the next milestone they need to reach. Five staff advisors are available to meet with businesses by appointment throughout the tri-county region. From Madras to La Pine and Sisters to Prineville, the advising is no cost and available for anyone requesting assistance. 

The SBDC also has programs to help at every stage of business. For people at the idea stage who don’t know where to start, there is the Business Start-up Class that will help them determine if owning a business is right for them and direct them where to go to get started. The class also provides a Business Start-up Kit with valuable information and resources.

In addition, the Small Business Management program is a one-on-one business advising/coaching program combined with a monthly workshop to help business owners and managers take their business to the next level. It’s a yearlong commitment geared toward business owners who see the importance of working on the business not just in it. The program helps business owners identify the key issues that will help move them towards achieving their vision. 

Grow Oregon is an opportunity for larger traded-sector companies to receive assistance in financial analysis, market research, search engine optimization for their website and high-level mentoring from experienced advisors. This program is more strategic in nature focusing on growth strategies for companies who have the ability to grow.

Other resources include assistance with capital access and financing, international trade, government contracting, preparing SBIR/STTR grant proposals and technology improvement.

The Small Business Development Center at Central Oregon Community College helps local business owners build a business that works for them. They offer no-cost one-on-one business advising, practical workshops, market research and assistance in obtaining financing for their business. The goal of the SBDC is to have a positive impact on the growth and sustainability of Central Oregon businesses. 

For more information on available services, contact the SBDC at 541-383-7290 or Steve Curley, Director Small Business Development Center Central Oregon Community College



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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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