On Friday, March 12, members of the Yavapai College SBDC Team, Yavapai College Film and Cinematography crew, and Chino Valley Economic Development Director Maggie Tidaback surprised Laura and Rob Valenzuela at their Chino Valley brewery. The purpose was to announce that a panel of Yavapai County chamber executives and economic development officers had selected Insurgent Brewing Co. as the first Yavapai College SBDC Makeover of a Lifetime winner in the Small Business Makeover program.
At right, Maggie Tidaback (in red) Jeri Denniston, SBDC Director, and Laura and Rob Valenzuela talk about the Small Business Makeover program and how the Valenzuela’s learned about it. “I was driving around town one day and Maggie chased me down to share a flyer and tell me about this program,” said Rob, co-owner and head brewmaster. “I showed the flyer to my wife and we decided it might be worthwhile to apply,” he added.
Over the next several months, the SBDC team will meet with the owners to identify one to three key challenges to help Insurgent Brewing Co. to pivot, attract more customers, and increase revenue.
Have you seen Small Business Revolution on Hulu (smallbusinessrevolution.org)? The SBDC Small Business Makeover program is patterned after, that but on a much smaller scale, to address some of the challenges the ongoing pandemic continues to present. Many small businesses throughout Yavapai County are still struggling despite any disaster funding they may have received.
To address this ongoing need, the Yavapai College Small Business Development Center, which operates as part of the YC Regional Economic Development Center, launched the Small Business Makeover program in January. “Thanks to new funding we received from the CARES Act, we were able to bring additional resources to help us plan and launch this as a pilot program for new clients,” said Jeri Denniston, SBDC Director. “Our goal is to expand this program to all SBDC clients next year as another set of tools and resources to help small businesses thrive,” she added.
The Small Business Makeover program will continue through September 20, 2021, during which time, three more Makeover of Lifetime winners will be selected. All applicants are entered into the “Mini Makeover Bootcamp” series with the Makeover of Lifetime winners receiving more in-depth, hands-on help from the SBDC team, subject matter experts, and other resources. All participants will receive one-on-one confidential coaching with SBDC consultants, in addition, to access to training, tools, and other resources to address their specific needs.
A cohort for Hispanic-owned businesses is also underway to address the specific challenges these business owners encounter due to language barriers, access to capital and other issues. The SBDC is hosting a 2-hour workshop on April 10 at La Quinta Inn for up to 30 Hispanic business owners to share their challenges and work on solutions. To register for this, business owners should call 928-717-7232 and mention the April 10 workshop, leaving their name, business name, email and phone number. Or they can email that information to SBDC@yc.edu.
As a way to expand resources for Small Business Makeover applicants, the SBDC is partnering with the Arizona Commerce Authority to provide some subject matter experts and access to their Small Business Academy, an online workshop series facilitated live by industry experts.
Three more application deadlines are set for March 31, April 30, and May 31. To date 22 business owners from a wide variety of industries have applied for the Small Business Makeover program. The next Makeover of a Lifetime winner will be selected the first week of April from the next round of applicants who apply before March 31. So don’t wait! Get your application in now.
Visit www.mybusinessmakeover.com/apply to fill out an application. Eligibility is reserved for small business owners with fewer than 500 employees and revenue less than $15 million. They must be structured as a for-profit entity, have operated their enterprise for at least three years, and have not received active coaching from the SBDC in the past five years. Business owners who contacted the SBDC once or twice last year for assistance with disaster funding would still be eligible if they did not receive ongoing coaching on their business operations.
Just visit www.mybusinessmakeover.com/apply to fill out an application. These services and resources are of no cost to the business owner thanks to the funding and support of the Small Business Administration and Yavapai College. Don’t pass up this opportunity to keep your business dream alive. Small businesses are the heartbeat of our community and the Yavapai College SBDC exists to help you thrive.