Economic Resource Council celebrates another year of helping western Nevada County businesses thrive | TheUnion.com

Economic Resource Council celebrates another year of helping western Nevada County businesses thrive

Erika Kosina
Special to The Union

The Nevada County Economic Resource Council recently celebrated one year of successful partnership with the Sierra Business Council. The Economic Resource Council hired the Sierra Business Council to help businesses in western Nevada County grow and thrive through their Sierra Small Business Development Center program.

Since the Sierra Business Council opened their western Nevada County office at the Nevada County Tech Hub at 104 New Mohawk Road in October 2017, the Sierra Small Business Development Center has provided over 960 hours of free business consulting services to 242 businesses and entrepreneurs in western Nevada County. In addition, they connected local businesses with over $9 million in funding.

The center isn't just helping the businesses thrive, they are helping to ensure jobs for Nevada County residents. 156 of the businesses the development center helped this year employ local residents, providing jobs for 342 full time employees and 495 part-time employees. Twenty-three of them are start-up businesses – new additions to our local economy.

Free consulting lets business owners focus on their strengths

The Small Business Development Center's services are available at no cost to small and medium businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including new ventures, growing companies and mature businesses. The Economic Resource Council has hired and pays the business council to provide a network of development center consultants who have owned or managed their own businesses to provide one-on-one consulting that enables businesses to improve and expand their companies, solve problems, strengthen management, develop new ideas for products or services, or investigate business opportunities.

Kristin York, Vice President of Business Innovation at the Sierra Business Council, believes that the services the development center consultants provide are invaluable to businesses who need advice.

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"Going into business can be really daunting," she said. "Nobody is an expert in everything – we have a network of experts from marketing to finance that can help. We allow business owners to focus on their strengths."

Making an impact on small businesses

The Small Business Development Center consultants have worked with local businesses to solve a variety of challenges, including helping brick and mortar retail stores and local craftspeople start an online presence to expand their sales, training construction company employees on how to sell, and figuring out how to make the cash flow work for businesses to buy their own locations instead of renting.

Michael LaMarca, general manager of Sierra Theaters in Grass Valley, had a great experience with the development center.

"Overall, I can't say enough," he said. "To have personalized business consulting offered free of charge and delivered by seasoned, resourceful, caring and honest professionals is a truly useful and appropriate use of tax dollars. Small businesses need help to stay afloat in today's economy, which is dominated by large corporations with deep pockets and ties to Washington. (Small Business Development Center's) services have had a real impact on our small business and the employees and guests that we serve."

Contributing to Local Economy

The Nevada County Economic Resources Council is pleased to have the Sierra Business Council helping them carry out their mission in western Nevada County.

"Part of our mission at the Economic Resource Council is to create quality jobs, promote entrepreneurship, and help existing businesses," said Tim Corkins, Interim executive director of the council.

"The numbers show that the (development center's) western Nevada County office at the Tech Hub has been a big help for them to execute this mission and contribute to a prosperous local economy. Everyone is benefiting."

Businesses and entrepreneurs who are interested in accessing the Sierra Small Business Development Center's free local business consulting services can request an appointment on the Sierra Small Business Development Center website at sierrasbdc.com.

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