Monday, April 1, 2013

Oakland Chamber Wins Bid to Host Local SBDC

On April 2nd, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce will open the new offices of Alameda County’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
After an open solicitation process that concluded in January, the Northern California SBDC Lead Center announced the intent to award up to $215,000 in federal funds to the Oakland Chamber to host the local SBDC office and take over the day-to-day operations of the center.
The Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC) provides free, one-on-one consulting and low-cost trainings to more than 2,000 small businesses in the county annually. The SBDC is a nationwide program which is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and local match funding to help small businesses start and grow in their communities.
The Norcal SBDC Lead Center – which oversees programmatic and fiscal operations of 11 centers in 14 Northern California counties – stepped in to manage the ACSBDC two years ago. Over that time the center has grown into a top performer in the region – with a specialty in helping small businesses access capital.
“This new funding will allow us to expand services for our members and all businesses throughout the county,” said Joe Haraburda, president of the Chamber. “The Alameda County SBDC, its program manager and existing 17 consultants have a long track record of solid performance filling the needs of local businesses. We intend to continue in that tradition.”
According to Alameda SBDC client surveys, positive impacts created through SBDC services in 2012 included more than $26 million in acquired loans and equity capital, $4.6 million in sales increases as well as the launch of 39 new businesses. Norcal SBDC Regional Director Kristin Johnson said that in searching for the right host for the ACSBDC, the Lead Center needed a well-established nonprofit with a similar mission and local match funding in order to draw down federal funding to provide services to the community. They also hoped to find a strong team that would be able to pick up where they left off.
“We are counting this search for a new host a success on all counts and we are excited at the prospect of having another chamber in our SBDC mix,” Johnson said. “We have long been interested in diversifying the types of places Northern California entrepreneurs can access our services and we’re confident that the Oakland Chamber team is going to add value to our network.”
The Alameda County SBDC will relocate to the Oakland Chamber offices at 475 14th St. on April 2nd.
For more information about how to apply for SBDC services, go to or call (510) 208-0410.
About the Norcal SBDC Program: Small Business Development Centers of Northern California (Norcal SBDC) help individuals manage the growth of their businesses. Their sole focus is on helping entrepreneurs improve their bottom line. Their expertise can help take the mystery out of business management and allow companies to focus on the issues most critical to their success. Their business advisors have years of experience and know what it takes to operate profitably and grow a business in Northern California. SBDC services address business plans, financial projections and budgeting, operating challenges, purchase or sale of a business, funding your venture, loan packaging, and more. All private coaching/advising services are offered at no cost to the client.


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