Small Business Development Center highlights local impacts

Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center continues making strides in its effort to bolster the local economy and business community.

That’s the summation from the SDBC’s director, Jennifer Shelton, after the center announced earlier this month its Whatcom County economic impact figures from 2013.

Among the highlights:

– The center helped local businesses save or create 136 jobs and helped clients secure more than $4.3 million in loans and new investments.

– All total, SBDC clients have 2,969 employees.

– The center’s three certified business advisers counseled 441 clients, including clients seen at eight satellite offices throughout Whatcom County. Ftaff provided more than 2,442 hours of in-depth counseling and research—approximately six hours per client.

– SBDC clients represent more than $125 million in annual sales (the center notes that only about 50 percent of its clients disclose annual sales figures). After clients interactions with the SBDC, they reported an average annual sales increase of 44 percent, according to the center.

The SBDC reports that, since 1996, it has served 5,984 clients with 50,416 hours of counseling that resulted in 5,167 local jobs saved or created and $172,698,270 in new investments.

The center is one of more than 1,000 active SBDC programs across the country. WWU’s center receives support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham, the City of Bellingham and the City of Blaine.

More information is online at


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