EVANSTON — Small business development was the presentation topic at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 9, at Uinta BOCES. Robert Condie, the southwest regional director for the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, shared information on the numerous resources available to small businesses in the state.
Condie said the southwest region consists of Uinta, Sweetwater, Lincoln, and Sublette counties. Although he is primarily housed in Rock Springs, he is able to assist businesses from all over the region.
The SBDC staff members are the “Wyoming business assistance experts,” said Condie. “My favorite thing about my job,” he said, “is that I am able to offer everything we offer with 100 percent confidentiality and at no cost.”
Condie said he was previously employed as a banker, and other representatives of the SBDC have backgrounds in various areas, like restaurant ownership and human resources. The SBDC also has Spanish-speaking staff members.
Some of the many areas Condie and the SBDC are able to help with are website analysis and social media usage, financial analysis and loan applications, employee and personnel issues, business plan reviews, marketing and branding, risk management, international trade, cyber security, retail spending analysis and accounting.
Condie said he is a certified QuickBooks Pro adviser. “I either know the answer or can find the answer with any QuickBooks questions,” he said.
Businesses owners can contact the SBDC to request company financial health check-ups as well.
The SBDC can help businesses access funding opportunities through the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, which have over $2 billion available annually to help fund new product research and development.
The Wyoming Technology Business Center has an incubator program that is focused on supporting small business start-ups around the state. Condie said there is an incubator on the University of Wyoming campus, as well as one in Casper and one in Sheridan. “It’s been tough on this side of the state. We kind of get forgotten a little bit,” he said. “Hopefully that’s going to change.”
Condie also spoke about the Wyoming Technology Transfer and Research Products Center, which can help with research into whether patents have already been obtained and with securing patents for new products.
Other programs available to help Wyoming businesses include the Wyoming Women’s Business Center, which has a micro-loan program to help women launch small businesses, and the Workforce Training Fund through the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
The Small Business Development Center website has information that can assist businesses owners at www.wyomingsbdc.org. Rob Condie can be reached at (307) 352-6894 to provide more information about any of these resources or to answer questions.
Evanston Chamber of Commerce Director Marian McLean said he has been an invaluable resource to her at the Chamber and she encourages local business people to contact him with any questions and take advantage of the services available through the SBDC.