ARCATA — After a lengthy and intense review process, the Norcal Small Business Development Lead Center has been reaccredited for its core business assistance program as well as distinguishing itself as the eleventh accredited SBDC technology program in the country.
The Norcal SBDC Regional Network, a program hosted by Humboldt State University’s Sponsored Programs Foundation since January 2006, provides fiscal and programmatic oversight of 12 Small Business Development Centers in 13 Northern California counties from Del Norte to Santa Cruz. Along with the 12 service centers there are three satellite offices and more than a dozen outreach locations that provide no-cost, one-on-one coaching services to small businesses for the purpose of creating positive economic impacts in those communities.
The Norcal SBDC program is part of a national network of more than 1,000 centers funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Achieving accreditation every five years is one of the requirements of the SBDC program. Measurable outcomes of the SBDC program include the creation of new businesses, helping entrepreneurs access loans and equity for growth, increasing sales, creating new jobs and retaining jobs that were previously slated for elimination.
According to Norcal SBDC’s Regional Director Kristin Johnson, the decision to launch a technology program to provide in-depth specialty assistance for tech-related businesses and go after a special accreditation designation was a process that began nearly three years ago.
“Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area are widely known as the nation’s epicenter for technology-based business creation,” Johnson said. “The Tech Futures Group is our way of adding value to our existing services that make sense for the needs of that community of entrepreneurs,” Johnson said.
In 2013 Norcal SBDC centers and programs provided business advising services and workshops to nearly 16,000 small businesses. Those services resulted in helping clients access more than $74 million in capital, the creation and retention of more than 1,800 jobs and sales increases of more than $56 million.
Carroll Thomas, Associate Administrator for the SBA, announced that Norcal had earned two accreditation designations in Grapevine, Texas earlier this month at the national professional development conference for America’s Small Business Development Centers.
“Every day we’re proud of NorCal SBDC for the great work they do supporting local business owners,” said District Director Mark Quinn from the San Francisco District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Today we’re delighted to congratulate NorCal SBDC on entering the elite ranks (of accredited SBDC technology programs), which will allow them to provide even more services to entrepreneurs.”
For more information on these or other programs the NorCal SBDC Lead Center, go online to www.norcalsbdc.org. For information on the California SBDC or to find an SBDC near you, go to www.californiasbdc.org.