For more than fifty years, by Presidential proclamation, the Small Business Administration celebrates Small Business Week recognizing the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. More than fifty percent of American either work for a small business or own one themselves – and small businesses create two out of three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

This year the Small Business Administration is hosting a two-day free virtual small business conference where you can learn about SBA Funding, pick up new marketing skills and learn more about topics like cash flow and preparing for disaster.  Click here to sign up for this dynamic, two-day online conference.

Here in Mendocino and Lake Counties most of our businesses qualify as a “small business†with under 100 employees. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing big things. From Kelseyville to Fort Bragg, small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities and they are making cakes, selling socks, growing saffron, making pizza, hosting at their inn, or pouring some wine. These are the businesses that make life sweet in our county and they join hundreds more of other small businesses that make our U.S. economy grow. At West Business Development Center we celebrate these businesses everyday advising them one-on-one, or hosting them in our low-cost workshops on everything from how to use Instagram to maximizing their profits.

We wanted to show you how six of our small businesses have flourished with our expert advising, and give you a little peek at who they are and how they feel about their small business. We have helped these businesses at every stage of the game – from getting a business license and wading through town regulations, to later on helping with them acquire capital and get a loan.

Village Sock Shop, Mendocino

Village Sock Shop sells socks in Mendocino. Amy Collins, the owner had never owned a business before but decided to take the plunge after meeting with her advisor at West.

Village Sock Shop, 44966 Ukiah St, Mendocino,

Read in-depth about Amy’s journey on our blog, here.

Frosted Bakery, Fort Bragg

Corinna Pena was making cakes and sweets for friends and family when a little encouragement from those who loved her treats made her think maybe she could be a business owner. A meeting with her West advisor and now she’s selling her goods at Harvest Market.

Frosted Bakery, Fort Bragg,

Read in-depth about Corrina’s journey on our blog, here.

Peace and Plenty Farm, Kelseyville

A new startup, Melinda Price and Simon Avery knew they wanted be farmers, but didn’t know what they wanted to grow. Now they are raising organically grown saffron, one of the very few places in the U.S. that produces this valuable herb. They’ve been working with one of our expert advisors to break into the culinary market and so far, so good with walnuts, lavender and more on the way.

Peace and Plenty Farm, Kelseyville,

Smithwood Mercantile, Mendocino

If you could put Mendocino living in a store, Smithwood Mercantile would be it.

Located in the Historic Mendocino Village overlooking the stunning Mendocino Bay, Smithwood offers local wines and gems from around the world.

With an eclectic selection of picnic & camping goods, art supplies, crystal stemware, chic gifts and more, you never know what new discovery you’ll make when you visit. West helped Julie navigate the maze of city and county regulations to open, and continues to offer ongoing support to this growing business.

45000 Main Street, Mendocino,

Slam Dunk Pizza, Ukiah

One of Mendocino County’s major success stories, West was there in the beginning and again down the road when Slam Dunk needed to capitalize so they could expand. Now this flourishing pizza empire is a household name in Mendocino County.

Slam Dunk Pizza, 720 North State Street, Ukiah,

Sea Gull Inn, Mendocino

A short eight months ago Ian Roth purchased Sea Gull Inn, a bed and breakfast in Mendocino. As a new business owner his challenges were many, but West was there to help him with everything from setup to social media. Looking forward to his first tourist season, the inn has been refreshed and is ready for guests.

Sea Gull Inn, 44960 Albion Street, Mendocino,