University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Feb. 20, 2004


UW-River Falls SBDC Serves Tri-County Area

Any small business owner in Pierce, Polk or St. Croix counties has a valuable resource and ally in the Small Business Development Center at UW-River Falls.

The Small Business Development Center offers free counseling services to small business owners in the three western Wisconsin counties. These services are for persons thinking of starting a business, for those who have just started a business, or individuals who have been in business for a while.

Christopher Bye, director of the center, said he has worked with businesses of all sizes and at all levels of development.

"Whatever I have at my disposal to help them, I will use," Bye said.

He can put entrepreneurs in touch with business counselors in different areas of expertise throughout the community.

Bye has a master's degree from UW-Madison in marketing and performed doctoral work in entrepreneurship and strategy. At UW-Madison he taught small business management classes. He also taught small business management and entrepreneurship classes at the University of St. Thomas. He has also served as a consultant to several businesses throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Center offers advice on issues such as finances, employee relations, growth, sales, marketing and making stagnant businesses flourish again.

The Small Business Development Center will begin offering courses on a regular basis, beginning with an entrepreneurial training program on March 2.

The course will last eight weeks, one night a week from 6 to 9 p.m. It will be held at UW-RF. The course will focus on starting a business and creating a business plan. It will deal with issues such as managing employees, human resources and all the paperwork and odds and ends that go with any business.

This spring, the Center plans to offer courses in Quick Books, which is a computer accounting program, and Understanding Financials, a class that will take away the intimidation of finances and help people look differently at money.

Bye also plans to offer free counseling sessions one day a month at a location in each county: Hudson in St. Croix County; Balsam Lake in Polk County; and Ellsworth in Pierce County. Each counseling day will consist of five available sessions lasting one hour, 15 minutes each.

Bye emphasizes that people are welcome to schedule an appointment with him any time, not just during his monthly counseling sessions.

" People are always welcome to come and meet me in River Falls. We love working with people and this is a unique resource," Bye said.

For more information, contact Bye at 715/425-0620.

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