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Small Business Center Gathers Momentum

JAN. 7, 2005--After a year under new director Chris Bye, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is reaching out to the business community.

Bye, a River Falls native, was named director of the SBDC last January. Over the last year, Bye has been leading the 3-year-old center to new heights by taking a more active role in the community. "I want to let people know we are here," says Bye. "We want to be a partner with the business community and to be a source people can use."

Working to increase its visibility by offering free business advising classes in the community as well as one-on-one consulting, the SBDC hopes to expand business ownership in the three counties it serves, which includes Pierce, Polk and St. Croix.

The SBDC assists those looking to launch a new business and those who have just started a business. It also helps existing businesses become even better, says Bye. "We provide any and all types of business resources for organizations."

SBDC Resources
Free business consulting through advising and training sessions are offered by the SBDC. Small business specialists are available by appointment through the center. The specialists are experts in the area of entrepreneurship and can help solve problems that small businesses can face at any stage of development. During these individual consulting sessions, topics can range from business plans, finance, marketing and strategy to helping get businesses organized and running smoothly. Bye said he meets with approximately 6-10 businesses a week in such sessions.

Additionally, the SBDC offers free business advising sessions one day a month at a location in each county including Hudson in St. Croix County; Balsam Lake in Polk County; and Ellsworth in Pierce County. Individual appointments are approximately 75 minutes in length and are designed for anyone who would like to discuss plans for starting or expanding a business or who has problems in any area of business management.

The SBDC also offers training for businesses through class offerings. The Entrepreneurial Training Program focuses on starting a business and creating a business plan. The course covers issues such as employee relations, human resources management and basic business management.

A class on QuickbooksTM accounting basics shows participants how to set up and use the software for their business. The SBDC also offers a course on human resources. Additional classes focus on marketing, finances and small business strategy. The SBDC also serves as a resource for businesses to connect with other professionals either in the university or private sector.

By offering training and free advising for businesses, Bye hopes to increase the economic viability in this area. "Our goal is to increase business ownership, not only by launching new businesses but by making businesses already here better and more profitable," said Bye.
For more information about the SBDC and its offerings, contact Bye at 715-425-0620 or by email at


Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:18 Central Daylight Time

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