EDASC offers support to small businesses and entrepreneurs through its partnerships with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE, the Northwest Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC), and our own Latino business retention and expansion program.
In addition to the programs EDASC provides for small businesses, you can find resources for starting a small business on our Starting a Business page.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
EDASC partners with the Washington SBDC to provide no-cost expert business advising, management training, and market research for Skagit County small and mid-sized business owners. SBDC certified business advisors offer one-on-one technical assistance to support small business owners with strategic planning and long-term growth issues. Certified business advisors are knowledgeable professionals who have extensive experience owning, managing, or guiding businesses in a wide variety of industries. The Skagit County SBDC is co-located with EDASC, and serves Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties.
SBDC is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Washington State University, and other Washington higher education institutions and economic development organizations, funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the SBA.
For more information, click here.
SCORE is a non-profit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE works in partnership with SBA, and provides volunteer mentors, business tools, and workshops. For more information click here.
Our resident SCORE advisor is Peter Rasco. He has over 30 years of experience providing technical and business services to industrial and commercial customers in Washington, Oregon, California, and Illinois in sales, marketing, and general management roles. Mr. Rasco has also grown, purchased, merged, integrated, and sold businesses during his career, and has a BS Chemistry from University of Oregon and a MBA, Marketing and Finance from Kellogg at Northwestern University.
Entrepreneurship – NW Innovation Resource Center
Are you an entrepreneur with an innovative product, process, or idea looking to get your business started? EDASC partners with the NW Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC), which assists entrepreneurs and inventors from throughout Skagit County create the strategies they need to evaluate their ideas and obtain the resources they need to bring the ideas to life. NWIRC works with EDASC to identify resources in the business community that will aid the entrepreneur along the path from idea to reality. Their Enterprise Program assists the entrepreneur from innovative idea to startup business. The Build It Program helps inventors develop their product and get it to the market. Support is provided at no cost, but upon success, entrepreneurs may make a pay-it-forward donation. For more information click here.
Latino Business Support
EDASC’s Latino business retention and expansion program, conducted in partnership with Skagit Valley College, provides one-on-one business counseling and broad-based support for Latino entrepreneurs and business owners looking to start or expand their business. Our customized bilingual approach focuses on building bridges with the local community through cultural awareness and collaborative educational opportunities. We do this by advocating for our clients, providing access to capital, business education aimed at financial literacy, and support with strategic planning, marketing, resource awareness, and networking. Since its establishment in 2004, this program has assisted Latino business owners in securing over $2 million in loans, and is being replicated across Washington as a model program.
This program also helps coordinate the Latino Leadership Initiative in Skagit County to train and prepare young Latinos and Latinas to be leaders in their communities and the larger society
El Programa para la Retención y Expansión del Negocio Latino (El Programa LBRE)
El Programa para la Retención y Expansión del Negocio Latino (el Programa LBRE) de la Alianza de Desarrollo Económico del Condado de Skagit (EDASC), llevando a cabo en colaboración con Skagit Valley College, ofrece asesoramiento empresarial de uno-a-uno y un amplio apoyo para los empresarios latinos y propietarios de negocios que buscan iniciar o expandir su negocio. Nuestro enfoque bilingüe personalizado se centra en la construcción de puentes con la comunidad a través de la sabiduría cultural y las oportunidades educativas de colaboración. Hacemos esto mediante el apoyo a nuestros clientes, proporcionando el acceso al capital, la educación de negociantes dirigida a la educación financiera, y ayuda con la planificación estratégica, el marketing, la conciencia de los recursos y la creación de redes. Desde su creación en 2004, este programa ha ayudado a los propietarios de negocios latinos en la obtención de más de $2.5 millones en préstamos, y ha sido replicado en el estado de Washington como un programa modelo.
Small Business Programs: Frequently Asked Questions
How can EDASC help my business?
EDASC provides no-cost business advice through our relationships with business experts from all of the above organizations. We provide confidential advising in the manner it makes the most sense to you. Face-to-face, online, or telephone, we are ready to help your business succeed. We will make sure you are with the right advisor or counselor for you need or business question.
How do I know which service is right for my business?
EDASC will match you with the correct service based on your needs and life stage of your business. Sometimes we may combine services to be sure you have the assistance you need.
What do you expect from me?
We have a variety of mentors and advisors, some of them volunteers. Their time is provided to help you achieve your goals and dreams with your business venture. Out of respect, we ask that you follow through on any scheduled appointments or provide notice if a change is needed.
You and your mentor/advisor work together to identify key areas to focus on in building your business success. While they will be there to help you, they are not allowed to do the work for you. You are responsible for moving your business forward.
Is there a charge for these services?
There is no monetary charge for business advising services provided to you by any of these providers, though you may be asked to participate in ways to authenticate the outcomes of the work we do together. These may include a letter attributing the results to the advising received, participation in surveys or other verifications. There may be charges for some optional classes, events, or workshops that will be prominently displayed at the time of registration.