For Small Businesses
The following partner agencies can help solve operational and organizational problems or provide expert advice on how to grow and sustain success. These agencies can help businesses that want to update the way they identify and reach their customers or shift strategic goals to adjust to changes in the economy.
Businesses are allowed to operate out of an owner’s home, as long as they don't exceed limitations on scale and activity. The Development Services Department (Land Use or 452-4188) can explain the regulations related to home-based businesses.
In some cases, assistance can be tailored to the size or specific line of business, or it may be focused on a specific business need, such as business plan development, measuring marketing effectiveness, cash flow analysis, negotiation of leases or relocation.
Small Business Administration: The federal Small Business Administration fosters small business success, including support for international trade. In addition to its other information resources and programs, the Small Business Administration offers free, individual counseling a few days each month through the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). SCORE volunteers offer help at the Bellevue Regional Library.
Community Capital Development: Provides free, one-on-one business counseling, mentoring and plan development. A nonprofit organization, CCD tailors assistance to the business owner's individual needs and makes referrals to the Small Business Administration or outside experts as appropriate. Programs under the CCD umbrella include several SBA-sponsored prorgrams, including the Small Business Development Center and the Washington Business Center.
Small Business Development Center: Offers asssistance for small businesses plus specialized services for rapid growth and emerging technology companies, and certification and government contracting of small disadvantaged businesses.
The Washington Business Center: Provides training and free technical assistance to all small businesses, with special emphasis on women and minority entrepreneurs.
CCD, SBDC, and WBC can also be contacted by telephone at 206-324-4330. Their main office is in Seattle, but satellite offices exist in several of the smaller cities and suburban locations throughout the region.
Consulting or training topics may be tailored to restaurants, small groceries, specialty stores or other types of businesses. Services may include business plan development, cash flow analysis, negotiation of leases, planning for business relocation and other special topics. In some cases, short workshops are based on popular topics that can help improve businesses. There is a small fee for most classes and workshops.