Clovis City Council recognized the Valley Community Small Business Development Center at its city council meeting on Monday, March 18.
The SBDC, now open at Clovis Community College, provides business development resources to students, entrepreneurs and small business owners. The center provides free consulting services and low cost training programs.
In honor of the SBDC, the Clovis City Council proclaimed March 20 as National Small Business Development Center Day.
According to the proclamation, the Valley Community SBDC is a part of the Central California SBDC Network which has assisted thousands of companies since 2003, from start-ups to established firms, helping create and retain over 10,000 jobs while creating more than $435 million in loans and equity.
The SBDC promotes the development, growth and success of small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Kings Counties, the proclamation stated.
Lori Bennett, Clovis Community College president, said the SBDC in Clovis is working in partnership with UC Merced.
“We are very honored to have the council recognize us for our work with the SBDC,” Bennett said. “We feel like this is something very important for the community. Our goal is to help our community grow, to support our local small businesses or people who would like to own their own business, to gain the skill set and support to be able to do that.”
Rich Mostert, SBDC director, said there is always a demand for help for small businesses in the Central Valley.
“The most important thing to know is that we do exist, we are here and we are available to help,” Mostert said. “Clovis Community has invested in the program, so we are able to provide help for anyone who needs it.”
Bennett said the council’s recognition is vital for raising awareness of the SBDC, which is new at Clovis Community College.
“We will be working as hard as we can to let the community know they can come and see us,” Bennett said.
Mostert said the SBDC already provides counseling in Spanish and is now recruiting Southeast Asian language speakers as well.
“We are covering the four counties of Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings out of beautiful downtown Clovis,” Mostert said.