EDC presents a free all-day workshop for small businesses and entrepreneurs on March 31

Are you looking to expand your business? To start a new business? To keep up with current economic conditions?

As part of its new Business Education Series, the San Juan County Economic Development Council will present a free all-day workshop for small businesses and entrepreneurs on March 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The workshop course material will be presented by James McCafferty, director of the Skagit/San Juan Islands Small Business Development Center, and a management consultant for more than 10 years. The workshop will include a morning course on business planning, and will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Studies show that a large percentage of businesses that fail often lacked the planning that brings success. Crafting a business plan is the cornerstone of any business – whether it’s new or has been open for years. A good plan guides, directs and ensures that a business moves in the desired direction.

The morning workshop will cover business financing. Financing a business in the current marketplace requires increased planning and efforts. The workshop will discuss a variety of financing options and will provide a reality check for those considering a new or expanded business venture.

Participants in the workshop will leave with the resources and support to create a business plan including a realistic financial plan. In addition, the workshop will cover current federal and Washington state tax incentive programs for small businesses.

The afternoon session will consist of one-on-one business counseling with McCafferty and Victoria Compton, director of the San Juan County Economic Development Council, from 1:30-5 p.m.

The workshop will be held at Skagit Valley College, 221 Weber Way, Friday Harbor, in the community room downstairs. Advanced registration is recommended: e-mail info@sanjuansedc.org, or call 378-2906.

The San Juan County Economic Development Council’s Education Series was created by the EDC in response to concerns from local business owners and overall increased demand from new businesses. This series will present a variety of business topics designed for both those opening a new business or those wanting to take their business to the next level. The series will be held on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands, in rotation, and the next workshop will be on Orcas Island on April 20.

“During this difficult economic period, the San Juan County EDC has responded by increasing the scope of the critical direct support that business owners and managers need,” Compton said.

“The San Juan County Economic Development Council strives to strengthen and diversify the economy of San Juan County. We believe a strong economy builds a strong community. The EDC works to build an environment that helps business owners create jobs. We serve business: linking organizations and resources, providing valuable information, rendering assistance and advocating for an improved island business environment.”

To contact the San Juan County Economic Development Council, call 378-2906, e-mail info@sanjuansedc.org, visit www.sanjuansedc.org.