The Turlock City Council’s desire to make business development and assistance a priority when it came to spending federal COVID-19 relief funds is now a reality with the launch of the Turlock — Small Business, Large Impact program.
In January, the Council approved spending $481,338 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for a business development and assistance program with Opportunity Stanislaus. The program, operated by the Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center and Opportunity Stanislaus, aims to fully understand local small businesses' issues, connect local entrepreneurs with resources, make business owners aware of opportunities available and provide no-cost training and consultations with expert advisors.
“We treat Turlock with a really solid splash, but what we’re talking about is providing a tsunami type splash in Turlock,” said Opportunity Stanislaus CEO David White in January. “It’s really upgrading from what we do to be able to provide much more impact and much more services than we have ever done in a brief period of time. I think that’s really important. I want to give you guys credit because you realize you could just go out and give grants to businesses and that would be helpful. But really this is all about teaching people how to fish and giving them the tools that will help them for long-term stability and viability.”
Turlock is the first city outside Modesto to have a dedicated satellite SBDC Center and support staff.
There are currently over 4,000 businesses within Turlock's jurisdiction. The program's goals are to annually provide at least 200 Turlock small business owners and entrepreneurs with one-on-one consulting and at least 11 annual business workshops.
The program will train business owners on business start-up, growth, expansion, innovation, profitability, management improvement, economic development, financial management, and small business "best practices."
"The City has told us that Turlock has a real need for small business assistance. Companies have told us that they're often the last to know about trends, new technologies, loans/grants, and other opportunities businesses need to grow and survive," said Maisie Silva, the Turlock Project Specialist. "Turlock companies are already resilient; it's time we become more competitive.”
Along with opening the SBDC Turlock office, located at the Valley First Credit Union at 3001 Countryside Dr., a Turlock Small Business Summit event is tentatively scheduled for May 24.
For more information, visit ValleySierraSBDC.com. To contact Turlock Program Specialist Maisie Silva, call (209) 505-9257 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.