ScaleUp Expands beyond Thurston County
Small businesses are a microcosm of their region. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports they make up 99.9% of all American businesses and hire nearly 50% of the total workforce. But, like people, small businesses benefit tremendously from resources, assistance, guidance, and education. This is where the Thurston EDC’s Center for Business and Innovation’s ScaleUp Thurston program comes in.
ScaleUp is a multi-week program designed to help established businesses increase their revenue intake. Ideally, businesses will have been around for two or more years and earning between $150,000 and $500,000; past the initial growing pains of a grand opening.
“The Center for Business & Innovation is a great resource for solid technical assistance—and is being recognized for developing innovative business growth strategies and programs,” explains EDC Executive Director Michael Cade. “ScaleUp has proven to be an effective tool that incorporates local business acumen and experiences, with practical hands-on skills; the results being a stronger business and business leader. ScaleUp is part of our overall strategy of creating a rich resource environment for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and business development. The program has proven to be a very effective regimen for business leaders to operate efficiently, effectively and with the goal of positive growth. The EDC is proud to be able to bring this highly effective program to other communities and region’s of the state’s economy.”
Recent classes were born of a partnership between the EDC and Washington State Department of Commerce. They “identified the ScaleUp program as a highly effective tool that is scalable for other communities,” says Cade, which leads to the springtime offering. In June 2019, cohorts in Mount Vernon and Yakima wrapped up Commerce-funded sessions under experienced and knowledgeable instructors.
Daryl Murrow of the Murrow Group, was ScaleUp’s original mentor, teacher, and coach in 2015. He’s back to lead again in 2019 and into the future. “The instructors have been critical to the success of the program. Daryl Murrow brings his insights and experiences to life and presents them in a way that the participant has a real-world example that they can then apply to their own situation and business model,” says Cade. And people are taking notice. The class was recently recognized for its impact on our thriving local economy.
“It was really neat and a little bit intimidating,” admits Murrow, “training business owners in a new community. But one thing they all have in common is that they all want to grow. And I really heard it loud and clear: business owners get to learn from each other and that’s just so valuable.”
To encourage participation, the city governments in Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater are all offering scholarships for business-owners in their town covering 80% of tuition or more. Find out more when applying at ScaleUpThurston.org or by calling 360-754-6320.
Benjamin Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” As a small business owner, we pass through all those phases at one time or another. Involve yourself with those on a similar journey and you’ll soon find greater success and growth together.