GRANTS PASS — In spite of pandemic impacts, the Rogue Community College Small Business Development Center team helped 35 new businesses get started in 2020-21, and assisted regional small businesses in securing $88 million in capital and small business loans. Now, the services of the SBDC have an accessible, welcoming new home at RCC’s Redwood Campus.
RCC’s dedication to supporting small businesses is elevated with the recent relocation of the SBDC offices to the Redwood Campus, easily accessed from the Redwood Highway at the West Entrance to the campus. This move conserves resources and makes it possible for the SBDC to offer services in updated technology classrooms with ample offices for advising and training.
“RCC is committed to utilizing our resources in ways that enable us to continue to support our students, clients and community, which is why the SBDC is now located on the Redwood Campus,” said President Cathy Kemper-Pelle.
RCC’s Small Business Development Center was founded in 1984 to support small businesses throughout its college service area. Services offered by the SBDC include advising, training, strategic planning, counseling, finance and accounting, small business management, access to capital, government contracting, business operations, human resources, branding, communications, mentoring, revenue growth strategies, and access to credentialed industry experts.
The SBDC’s core mission is “Building Oregon’s Best Businesses.” Since its founding, the SBDC’s confidential advising staff have supported some 12,000 small businesses throughout Southern Oregon, with over 50,000 advising hours. Nearly 3,000 training events have served an estimated 20,000 attendees since the center’s inception.
“We are thrilled to be located on the beautiful Redwood Campus, easily accessed from the West RCC entrance off the Redwood Highway,” says Ruth Swain, SBDC Director. “Our center assists emerging and growing businesses with training, resources and unparalleled expertise. The center’s business advisers have well over 100 years of combined experience — helping businesses weather ever-changing trends, including the devastating impact to small businesses from the current pandemic.”
In 2020 and 2021, the SBDC fielded the highest number of calls and contacts from small businesses in its history. With COVID-19 closures over the last 22 months, the SBDC team converted in-person advising sessions to Zoom and telephone options. At the new Redwood Campus location, appointments are now being scheduled to accommodate small business owners’ availability – including in-person, Zoom, and phone meetings.
Over the past two years, the SBDC has provided over 3,000 hours of confidential and crisis advising to an average of 490 clients yearly. SBDC advisers helped clients apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Grants and Loans (EIDL), and with business crisis services including adaptive strategies necessary to start or grow their businesses during economically uncertain times. The center also benefits our community through a strong and collaborative partnership between RCC and the Oregon statewide network of Small Business Development Centers.
RCC SBDC also supported small businesses during the pandemic by assisting them with applications for Josephine County and the City of Grants Pass CARES Act and ARPA funding. The Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCDO) collaborated with the SBDC and distributed grants from Josephine County and City of Grants Pass during 2020. In 2021, Josephine County CARES and ARPA funds were distributed through a partnership between SOREDI and IVCDO, with application assistance to small businesses from RCC SBDC.
Confidential one-on-one counseling sessions are by appointment, and may be scheduled by calling 541-956-7494 or emailing SBDC@roguecc.edu, with appointments available Monday through Friday during regular business hours. You can also view our classes or register for confidential advising through the RCC website: sbdc.roguecc.edu. Individual advising appointments are also available onsite at RCC’s Illinois Valley Learning Center located at 24353 Redwood Highway in Kerby.