Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner. It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.
Our organization is pleased to announce the start of our new Entrepreneurial Friendly Cities (EFC) Initiative. Designed to support small businesses in Yakima County’s rural cities, we expect to ultimately partner with several communities and help them advance strategies that aid home town businesses. Through our entrepreneurship initiative we learned that emerging and established businesses outside of Yakima have limited access to small business counselors and related support services. New Vision plans to work with selected cities to recruit and train small business counselors that can help and mentor local companies. We also plan to help these cities develop small business resource libraries and counseling centers in their communities.
Additionally each community will be able to use the talents of a college intern to help jumpstart these small business projects. Our office is working closely with the Yakima Valley SCORE Chapter, Heritage University, and the Yakima Valley Community College to support the EFC initiative. These partners have been great resources throughout our entrepreneur initiative and we could not move this new initiative forward without their active involvement. Several cities are interested in receiving the designation. Cities vying to become EFC partners must develop an action plan with the input from their local businesses over the summer. A review panel will evaluate applications from each city and ultimately choose up to four cities to participate in this new initiative.
Our goal through the EFC initiative is to broaden the safety net for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Yakima Valley. By developing satellite business assistance centers we hope to bring important help to companies closer to where they operate and live. Since this is a new initiative for New Vision, we decided to work with a smaller number of cities first before trying to bring every rural city into the fold. This allows our organization to evaluate results in each designated city, work out any implementation bugs, and ultimately determine how to scale up these services for other interested communities within the region. We are excited about the EFC initiative. Through effective partnerships we are building capacity in our rural cities to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed. For most of our smallest cities retaining and growing these firms is their lifeline to the future. By David McFadden