By Dr. Ross Tomlin, TBCC President—The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) is a vital part of our mission to positively impact local communities and be integral in making Tillamook County successful. The vision for our SBDC is to be Oregon’s preeminent provider of effective and innovative business advising and training services, and its specific mission is to help build Tillamook County’s best small businesses. The Director is Leon Telesmanich and the Office Specialist is Priscilla Garcia. They focus on helping small businesses in the county thrive by providing education, advising, and networking, especially to those people that want to explore starting a new small business. Advising for business owners is free.
The Oregon SBDC Network is comprised of 20 regional Centers and is supported by a Lead Office at Lane Community College in Eugene. The 20 regional centers are located at Oregon’s 17 community colleges, as well as Eastern Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, and the Columbia Economic Team.
The funding sources for our SBDC office come primarily from the Oregon State Legislature as part of the Oregon biennium budget, federal grants, and matching funds from TBCC. Other funding comes from program fees and grants written for specific projects.
The flagship program is the Small Business Management series. The cost is $400 to participating businesses and is open to any business. Classes are held once a month for nine months, with content provided by accomplished subject matter experts. The courses cover marketing, sales, financials, accounting, IT and cyber security, HR, supply chain and inventory management, operations, and navigating legal contracts. Other classes held for small businesses at the SBDC include business planning, business start-up assistance, income tax essentials, and work/life balance, to name a few.
New programs coming up include Guest Service Gold Workshop with Ken Henson on May 26, focusing on customer service excellence with certification. A Connect 2 Oregon event will also be held this fall, on September 14, at TBCC that will provide technical assistance, advising, and network connections to help businesses navigate local, state, and federal contract opportunities.
The connection with SBDC is another way that TBCC serves Tillamook County with quality education to help citizens and businesses succeed. Classes and advising sessions can be scheduled by calling the SBDC office at 503-842-1410; advising for business owners is free. Their office is in the Partners for Rural Innovation Building across the street from the main TBCC campus. Small business owners and those thinking of starting a new small business are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the SBDC Director or advisors in the office. Leon can also meet with you at your business. Sessions are confidential and free. Classes through the SBDC do charge a nominal fee.