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What is the SBDC?

What is SBDC and how does it impact our local business community? SBDC is an acronym for Small Business Development Center. The Columbia Gorge Community College SBDC is part of the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network, which has nineteen center locations in Oregon. Within the 19 Oregon SBDC locations, 17 centers are located at various community colleges while two centers are located at state universities.

The Oregon Small Business Development Network began in 1983 and has formed a well-established relationship between the 19 center locations, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Oregon Business Development Department. Our local SBDC is hosted by Columbia Gorge Community College.

What exactly does the SBDC offer to the business community? The SBDC provides a wide range of one-on-one professional advising services, low- or no-cost training and other specialized services. All services of the Small Business Development Center are available to both new startup businesses as well as established businesses. All advising services are free and strictly confidential.

As former business owners, SBDC advisers appreciate the complexities of starting a new business. SBDC advisers work closely with future business owners to help assure that a new business is built on a solid foundation that is needed to succeed. Typical questions asked and services requested by owners of new startup companies include but are not limited to:

• Information about registering with the state

• Business structure

• Business plan development

• Startup cost development

• Preparation of financial package

• Financial projections

• Loan preparation

• Marketing

• Market research

• Brand development

• Accounting

• Website review

While the SBDC works closely with entrepreneurs who are in the initial planning and startup stage of business, the Small Business Development Center is equally involved with assisting existing or established businesses. An established business can offer a unique set of challenges ranging from a growth prospect to cash flow problems. Typical questions asked and services requested by owners of existing businesses include but are not limited to:

• Cost analysis for products

• Accounting

• Personnel issues

• Tax questions

• Online presence analysis

• Expansion and growth issues

• Marketing

• Slow growth and/or low revenue analysis

All one-on-one counseling sessions are free of charge and strictly confidential. Registration for counseling services is available at

The Small Business Development Center also offers several three-hour long educational business classes at little or no cost. The classes are taught by business professionals who have years of practical business expertise that can be useful to business owners. Some of the classes that have been offered are:

• Starting a Successful Business

• Building Your Successful Business

• QuickBooks Learning Lab

For times and class availability, check online at

The SBDC can help an individual realize the dream of being a business owner as well as helping an existing business remain competitive in the marketplace. The scope of services offered by the Small Business Development Center is diverse but the mission is simple: support of business growth and sustainability, job creation and development of new business entities.

Rose Mays is a program specialist at the Columbia Gorge Community College Small Business Development Center. She can be reached at 541-506-6121 or email


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