The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Central Oregon Community College (COCC)continues to see improvement in the local business climate as the post recovery economy is adding jobs and increasing overall revenue for local businesses. The SBDC’s clients are about half pre-venture and half existing businesses.
The Central Oregon SBDC 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-to-one advising.
In the past year the local center has worked with 343 clients who have created or retained 60 jobs, adding $2.1 million in capital investment to their businesses while they saw an increase in sales of just over $5 million. The increase in sales is double the prior year’s number.
Central Oregon continues to be a hotbed of activity for entrepreneurship as many new businesses are being started. Many of them are in sectors identified as growth industries including outdoor products, technology, biotech, unmanned aerial systems/vehicles, food products and brewing.
The SBDC works closely with organizations such as EDCO (Economic Development for Central Oregon) and Opportunity Knocks to meet the needs of these burgeoning start-ups.
Some of the upcoming issues that will have a significant impact for small businesses are in the legislative arena. There is discussion of raising the minimum wage which will likely show up on a ballot near you later this fall. This would impact businesses around the state, but especially in rural areas like most of Central Oregon.
There are also other petitions being circulated that will increase costs for Oregon businesses by adding a gross receipts tax to certain types of companies. How these issues play out will determine the viability of many small businesses across the state.
“We want to be a resource to provide information and advising that is critical to area businesses that are expanding their opportunities for growth. We know that a vibrant Central Oregon economy is dependent on our small businesses as they provide jobs and income for workers throughout the region.”
The SBDC is available to help businesses take advantage of growth opportunities through resources that will help them right where they are as well as create a plan to get to the next level. Eight 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 Small Business Development Center at Central Oregon Community College is focused on helping build Oregon’s best businesses. They offer no-cost one-to-one business advising, business planning, educational workshops, market research and assistance in accessing capital
The goal of the SBDC is to have a positive impact on the growth and sustainability of Central Oregon economy.
For more information on available services, contact the SBDC at 541-383-7290 or go to www.cocc.edu/sbdc.
Steve Curley, Director, Central Oregon Community College, Small Business Development Center, office: 541-318-3766, www.bizcenter.org