Economic Resource Council helps local businesses succeed |

Economic Resource Council helps local businesses succeed

Hollie Grimaldi Flores and Gil Mathew
Special to The Union


Giving area businesses some of the tools needed to succeed is what the Nevada County Economic Resource Council has been working to achieve since its inception over 25 years ago.

Some of the tools the Economic Resource Council utilizes to support area businesses moving toward that goal comes in the form of teaching some basic business protocols, as well as hands-on aid in the areas of finance, marketing, education and compliance, additionally working with manufacturers in streamlining production practices, and human resource issues. The help is funded through a grant from the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting and is provided without cost to the enterprise.

One local company that recently benefited from the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting funding is Beowulf Industrial Sewing. It may seem to be quite a leap to go from being a world class cyclist to manufacturing world class yurt covers, but that is just what Kurt Sandiforth has done. In 2017, Sandiforth started Beowulf Industrial Sewing with a single sewing machine in his garage after he helped a friend who was building yurts but needed the coverings. That friendship thrived and both companies have prospered creating these alternate forms of housing.

Creating a marketing strategy that reached beyond the rural small town in Northern California to reach to the worldwide market of those interested in Yurts, the Economic Resource Council supplied some expertise and assistance in re-crafting Beowulf’s online presence and expand their website to include ecommerce capability.

Just as the yurt business was expanding, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Sandiforth and Beowulf Industrial Sewing looked at the challenges and made a hard pivot. The explosive demand for sanitation barriers gave Beowulf a new revenue source. The company quickly began creating everything from “see-through” dividers in golf carts to flexible barriers in retail shops. Beowulf highlighted the expanded product line on their website to capitalize on this new market.

Beowolf Industrial Sewing has grown from one employee to five and has a bright future. Beowulf now has 14 industrial sewing machines working to serve a national and international market, creating Yurt covers and other fabric products. The company has plans to expand their facility, doubling the present 1,200 square foot space.

When asked what it takes to make the move from world class cyclist to sending yurt covers to Canada, Sandiforth said, “Hard work and a little help from friends and things like what the ERC and CMTC have done to help me build and expand my business.”

The Economic Resource Council is available to assist other area manufacturers with hands on expertise. To find out if the Economic Resource Council can help your business along your pathway to success, contact them

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a freelancer writer in Nevada County. She writes a monthly column on behalf of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. Gil Mathew is executive director of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council

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