(Photo | Courtesy of COCC)
COCC Small Business Development Center Awarded $10k US Bank Foundation Grant
COCC’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was the recent recipient of a $10,000 US Bank Foundation grant that will increase the operational capacity dedicated to Latinx business outreach primarily located in Redmond, La Pine, Madras, and Prineville. These rural areas are the most under-served in COCC’s district and include the highest proportion of low-income individuals. These areas are also the most ethnically diverse areas of Central Oregon with a high number of Latinx residents.
Ken Betschart, COCC’s director of The Center for Business, Industry and Professional Development is grateful to be awarded this grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation. “This funding will allow us to work with our local Latinx businesses to determine what kind of courses and programming is needed to better serve these communities.” The grant will allow COCC’s SBDC to extend the hours of its Latinx advisor, José Balcazar, sponsor events that would improve awareness of SBDC services and design and build curriculum targeted for the Latinx population.
SBDC Instructor Highlight
Balcazar has owned restaurants for more than 20 years and often works with clients who want to start food-related businesses. He also serves as the SBDC’s Veteran liaison, drawing from his own experience in the U.S. Army. Balcazar has always had a passion for computer programming, and as a bilingual adviser, he is well positioned to help both our English and Spanish speaking clients with the particular challenges that can arise with technology.