Steve Ranson / LVN
Duke Nishimura, an adviser with the Nevada Small Business Development Center, spoke at the recent CEDA breakfast meeting.
Saint Patrick’s Day not only celebrates the Luck of the Irish, but it also the day to recognize the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and how they can work with small and large communities.
Duke Nishimura, adviser with the Nevada Small Business Development Center, spoke at the Churchill Economic Development Authority’s March breakfast and discussed how a team of consultants may assist small and large business owners. He joined the Nevada SBDC last year and primarily serves as a business adviser in the University of Nevada, Reno office.
Nishimura joined the Nevada SBDC in 2020 as a consulting director for the Black Rock Incubator and then as a business adviser. During his career, Nishijura has experience in business management, entrepreneurship, international business and business consulting.
Nishijura said the SBDC develops programs for states after reviewing information from the Small Business Administration, a cabinet-level federal agency that assists small businesses pursue the American dream.
“The SBA helps the national security, growth and stability and develops a program for the states,” Nishijura said. “The SBDC is the local business advocate that works with community businesses to maneuver everything that’s available to you to be successful.”
Nishijura said SBDC helps more than 6,500 businesses in Nevada and is well versed with many of the companies. He said the SBDC staff consists of about 40 people scattered around the state in nine offices with the main location at the UNR College of Business. Locally, Sara Beebe with CEDA also works with the SBDC programs.
According to Nishijura, many of the counselors at UNR have Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees and work with new and old businesses. He illustrated how invaluable SBDC counselors are. For example, major companies employ their own counselors, while a mid-sized company may budget to hire a consultant. For smaller or rural-type business, the SBDC can step in with free consultants.
“The rurals don’t have that big budget,” he pointed out. “Most small businesses can’t afford that.”
Nishijura said the SBDC will work with the small companies and serve as their private consultants. He said the information stays confidential.
“We re your private consultants as if you hired us,” he said.
Interested companies may sign up and register with SBDC.
Nishijura then looked at the breakfast attendees.
“Here’s our option. Let us help you,” he said, adding the SBDC will also help seek COVID-19 funding such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance for companies that need it.
With the changing business dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic, he said many firms are changing their methods of doing business, especially with more online services.
NEED TO KNOW
To learn more about the SBDC in Churchill County, contact Sara Beebe with the Churchill Economic Development Center, 448 W. Williams Ave. Her phone number is 775-423-8587.