In partnership with the regional Economic Development Collaborative (EDC), Santa Barbara City College is pleased to announce the opening of two satellite Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) where – at no cost – professional consultants work one-on-one with business owners and entrepreneurs to help them start-up, grow and navigate today’s complex business environment. The Centers are located at the Schott Campus (310 W. Padre St.) and at the Wake Campus (300 N. Turnpike Rd.).
SBDCs are America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers, the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the U.S. and its territories. SBDCs are hosted by universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private partners, and are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Economic Development Collaborative hosts the region’s SBDC and is funded in part through a Grant with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
The satellite SBDCs located at SBCC’s Schott and Wake Centers are among the nearly 1,000 centers available to provide free business consulting to new and existing businesses. Consultations include guidance regarding access to capital, licenses and permits, drawing up a business plan, strategic planning, social media, information about international trade and more.
According to Interim Vice President, School of Extended Learning, Carola Smith, “We are very excited to partner with the Economic Development Collaborative to establish satellite Small Business Development Centers on both the Schott and Wake Campuses. The Centers will be able to serve small businesses in the community as well as the entrepreneurial interests of our students.”
The regional EDC was founded in 1996 to provide a pathway to business growth, economic prosperity and high quality of life for all. Today, the EDC together with the SBDC form a regional asset for economic vitality giving businesses, community partners and civic leaders the resources they need to succeed. By leveraging public and private funds, the EDC has become a key player in delivering business consulting that supports the regional economies of Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.
EDC SBDC Client Services Manager Andrés Tovar will begin accepting in-person appointments and walk-in consultations the first week in March. SBDCD hours will be Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m. at the Wake Center and Thursdays, 4-8 p.m. at the Schott Center, with services available in English and Spanish at both locations. In-person appointments can be made by calling (805) 409-9159, or by going online to https://calendly.com/andres-tovar. Virtual and phone appointments are available five days a week at the same phone number.
In addition, the EDC website has informational pages specific to Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Business Resource page provides a detailed overview of resources and partner organizations available to the Santa Barbara County entrepreneurial community. The COVID-19 Business Resource page has information and recommendations specific to Santa Barbara businesses that have experienced economic injury due to the impact of COVID-19.