Western’s Small Business Development Center Announces 2015 Economic-Impact Figures

Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has announced its Whatcom County economic-impact figures for 2015.

CJ Seitz, director of the SBDC, said that 2015 showed once again the value of the SBDC to the local economy and business community.

“The SBDC staff is honored to serve as trusted advisors to hundreds of Whatcom County businesses. Our clients have been successful weathering the economic challenges and have shown a willingness and ability to invest in their business. The work we do with our clients has resulted in new business starts, jobs being created and retained, and our business owner clients feeling more empowered to make better business decisions,”  said Seitz.

Among the highlights from last year’s efforts by SBDC staff:

• The SBDC’s three certified business advisors counseled 317 clients, including clients seen through its eight satellite offices throughout Whatcom County. The SBDC staff provided 3,330 hours of in-depth counseling and research ─ approximately 10 hours per client.

• The SBDC assisted local businesses in saving or creating 121 jobs. The active clients of the SBDC have a total of 3,068 local employees.

• SBDC helped clients in obtaining over $5.1 million in loans and new investments.

• SBDC clients represent more than $144 million in annual sales (note that only about 50 percent of SBDC clients disclose annual sales figures).

The SBDC is part of the most comprehensive small-business alliance in the U.S., with more than 1,000 active SBDC programs across the country. Western’s SBDC receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham, the City of Bellingham and the City of Blaine.

Since 1983, Western’s Small Business Development Center has given back to the business community and helped to shape the economic future of Whatcom County by providing free, confidential advising, technical assistance, and research to business owners and managers in an effort to help businesses thrive.

For more information, contact CJ Seitz, SBDC director, at (360) 778-1762 or CJ.Seitz@wwu.edu; or visit the website at: www.wwu.edu/sbdc/.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 8:51am