Starting your own business can be both exciting and frightening! For many, it is part of the American dream. Whether you are a military spouse who wants your own business so that you have a steady stream of income through each PCS, or are a military member transitioning to the civilian world of work, key factors to your success are advance planning and utilizing the many resources available to you. Washington leads the nation in the rates of new business creation... and business failures. It’s been shown that professional guidance makes a critical difference in a new business’s ability to prosper and grow. (source, sba.gov).
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Offers programs and services to help you start, grow and succeed your business. The U.S. Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA websites provide information about financial assistance, contract opportunities, laws, compliance, and extensive online training and resources. There is specific information and assistance for targeted populations, such as veterans (Patriot Express) women , and teens.
A resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, offering mentorship and training to America's small businesses. Excellent resource; excellent website.
Washington State Small Business Development Center (WSBDC)
The local resource for the SBA. It provides training on a wide array of topics of interest to the small businessperson. These workshops are typically taught by experienced business people. Many of these classes are held on weekends or in the evening; there is a nominal fee. The website also has an extensive amount of information on all small business topics, under the Resources tab. The regional office of the WSBDC is located on the Spokane Washington State University (WSU) campus: Sirti Bldg, 665 N. Riverpoint Blvd, Ste 201, Spokane WA, 99202. Phone: 509-358-7890
Innovate Washington, 509-358-2005
A Washington State economic development agency focused on accelerating the development and growth of innovative technology companies and clean energy. This is a business incubator. For information on business incubators in other areas, visit National Business Incubator Association.
Spokane Neighborhood Assets Program (SNAP) Financial Access Small Business Development
Works with low and moderate-income people wanting to start a business, as well as those wanting to expand or enhance an existing business. Services include training, business counseling and financial assistance in the form of a loan or matching funds. For details call 509-456-7174 ext. 111.
The Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE)
Created by the Department of Veteran Affairs, is dedicated to assisting veterans in starting and building businesses. They maintain a web site that serves as the federal government portal for veteran-owned businesses known as VETBIZ.GOV. Toll Free: (866) 584-2344.
The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative
Commonly known as "VetFran," is a voluntary program of the International Franchise Association through which honorably-discharged veterans are allowed financial incentives to acquire a franchised small-business.
The Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce
Also called Greater Spokane incorporated (GSI). In business, success depends on what you know and who you know. Joining GSI will put you in touch with new customers and clients, provide practical business training, and increase your influence in the community. Membership in GSI offers networking events, marketing opportunities, professional growth, and potential savings of time and money. Address: 801 W. Riverside Ave, #100, Spokane WA 99201 Phone: 509-624-1393
Better Business Bureau (BBB) of E. Washington, N. Idaho & Montana
Membership in your local BBB lets customers and potential customers know that your business is worthy of their trust. Display of the BBB logo and being listed on the BBB website may draw more customers to your business. 152 S. Jefferson, Ste. 200, Spokane WA 99201 Phone: (509)455-4200.
Wall Street Journal Center for Entrepreneurs
Provides an online How-To Guide for Small Business, and much useful information. Many pages are full of advertising, so proceed with caution, as with all private-sector resources.
A Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise
Provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them.
Operation Endure and Grow
Online training program focused on the fundamentals of launching and/or growing a small business, offered by the Whitman School of Management in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The 8-week training program is open to National Guard and reserve members as well as their family members.
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