Business

Small Business Development Center makes positive ripples in Federal Way

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is having a positive effect for small business owners in Federal Way, according to the SBDC's Rich Shockley.

Shockley gave a report to the Finance/Economic Development/Regional Affairs Committee (FEDRAC) on July 23.

"The last quarter, in Federal Way, we served 23 clients," Shockley said. "The 23 are businesses that myself and the other advisor…have served."

Shockley said the SBDC measures its success by "new jobs," "saved jobs" and some more subjective metrics, such as helping a business get a proper loan to get started, etc.

"In 2012, we finished the year with two business starts, 10 new jobs, six saved, and loans closed in 2012 were $675,000," he noted. "Equity invested was $97,500 and other impacts was $186,000. We're probably a little bit behind where we were last year. The only thing we can control is the activity."

Shockley had Jaime Davis, owner of Ceiba Acupuncture, along with him for the FEDRAC meeting, in order to have Davis share her story. According to Davis, the SBDC was indispensable in helping her business grow.

"When I came to (Shockley) about a year go, I was one practitioner renting one room…and I had definitely over-exceeded my capability of just being one person in the business," Davis shared. "The ladies I was renting from said they had worked with SBDC and sent me there. And (Rich) kind of turned me from being an acupuncturist to an entrepreneur."

Davis said Shockley was instrumental in helping her navigate the banks and acquiring a loan to help expand her business.

"I got the expansion loan, and I created four new jobs with my business," she said proudly. "And next week, we're moving into an even larger location and expanding once again. This time, I didn't even need a loan."

"I'm highly educated in my field, but I had no experience in business. They've just been a lifesaver for me. I'm excited, we're going to keep building jobs," Davis added. "I had no idea this (SBDC) existed, and that it was free, is completely amazing. It completely saved my business, and I tell people about them all the time."

"We're glad to be a part of that, and that you're being so successful," FEDRAC chair and Councilmember Dini Duclos said.

"This is entrepreneurship, this is wonderful. Congratulations on the growth," FEDRAC committee member and Councilmember Bob Celski added.

Davis mentioned that she'd be holding an open house at her new location on Aug. 21, and invited the FEDRAC committee members to attend. To learn more about Davis' business, visit ceibaacupuncture.com.

To learn more about the SBDC, click here.

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