New small business center good for Merced, officials say
Merced is now home to the headquarters for an organization that provides consulting, training and other resources for small business owners throughout the Central San Joaquin Valley, according to officials.
In an attempt to expand its Merced presence, according to leaders, the Small Business Development Center Network moved its lead office from Fresno to downtown Merced in October. The center, which is also connected to UC Merced, nurtures small businesses.
The office has dozens of consultants and gives small-business owners — and people who want to start a small business — professional advice from experts in 14 counties, according to a news release.
The training, workshops and consultations to business owners is free from the Central California arm of the network, which has been around since 2003. The association says its efforts have helped create and retain more than 10,000 jobs, and create more than $435 million in loans and equity.
The network takes pride in the advice it gives to small business, according to Kurt Clark, the executive director of the association in this region. He previously served 15 years as director of the Valley Sierra branch of the association in Modesto.
“Like other cities in our region, Merced is home to many mission-driven small businesses and burgeoning venture startups,” he said in a statement. “We’re proud to give them access to the
Merced residents Kaitlin Hanshew, 22, left, and Tori Rowe, 21, right, look at a wall of hats while shopping at Envy Fine Clothing located at 3564 G Street, during Small Business Saturday in Merced, Calif. in 2016.