With an investment of $15,000, Snohomish County became a founding partner of the Business Development Center (BDC) at UW Bothell recently.
The center provides one-on-one counseling, student consulting teams from UW Bothell and Edmonds and Everett Community Colleges, events and seminars, and referrals to other resources and sources of assistance for the small business community.
“Our region benefits from the dynamic practical problem-solving business development experience BDC affords students,” said County Executive Aaron Reardon.
The center’s programs are a “win-win” for all involved, center leaders say. Students get practical, applied experience addressing business issues. Business owners access new knowledge and expertise that they can translate into increased effectiveness and revenues. And the region as a whole is stronger when the small business sector is well supported.
BDC leaders are grateful for the support and enthusiasm that has come from Snohomish County. Says center Director Walter Freytag, “Like the small companies we work with, the external resources and support we received as we launched our new enterprise were so important. Snohomish County and our other founding partners made it possible to turn our vision of a business assistance program into reality.”
The center is having a positive impact on local small business owners. Entrepreneur John Holmes, for example, worked with BDC counselor Kristen Spangler on a plan for his company, Final Take Productions in Mill Creek. “Working with Kristen and the BDC is like taking a business and marketing degree program over time,” he said. “She is particularly adept at helping me make business numbers manageable and visual, and the benefits from this are tremendous.”
In October, Holmes had already surpassed the annual revenue goals he and Spangler developed at the beginning of this year.
Debbie Gallego, an Everett Community College student, was part of a team that created a marketing plan for Summit Family Chiropractic in Lynnwood. Says Gallego, “It is always useful to be able to deal with real life situations —s omething you don’t get to do very often as a student. I put more effort into this class because I was dealing with a situation where a difference could be made!”
For more information on the UW Bothell Business Development Center, please contact Duncan Milloy, 425-352-3664, or firstname.lastname@example.org.