Startup Mendocino Sponsor Spotlight: EDFC

The Economic Development & Financing Corporation (EDFC) was formed through a unique partnership between Mendocino County’s four incorporated cities and the county to coordinate and support economic development activity in Mendocino County in 1995. We’re proud to have EDFC as a Startup Mendocino Sponsor and we talked to Heather Gurewitz, the executive director, about her thoughts on entrepreneurship in Mendocino County.

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Startup Mendocino Sponsor Spotlight: Savings Bank of Mendocino County

Founded in 1903, the Savings Bank of Mendocino County is the only bank chartered in Mendocino County and the only financial institution with its headquarters in Mendocino County. The headquarters, decision-making, physical facilities, Board, management and employees all live and work in Mendocino or Lake Counties

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Startup Mendocino Sponsor Spotlight: The John and Sandra Mayfield Economic Development Fund at The Community Foundation of Mendocino County

The John and Sandra Mayfield Fund was established by John and Sandra Mayfield to increase the prosperity of communities and individuals in Mendocino County through business and community development, education and entrepreneurship support.

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Mission Critical: Emergency Planning for Your Business in Lake County

As we prepare for fire season, just as we create our plans at home, so too must we plan for our businesses.  Emergency Planning is mission critical for small businesses because they are especially vulnerable. Small business do not have the same resources or capacity as larger organizations do to recover from wildfire, and often the small business is a primary source of income for an entire family or more.

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Entrepreneur #realtalk: West BDC Clients Talk Challenges + Opportunities

People who own small businesses have a unique blend of passion, determination, and grit; qualities that are abundant in people who live in Mendocino and Lake Counties. Our business community is primarily made up of small businesses, and these businesses weave in and out of our very community itself, making it a wonderful place to live and return home to. At West Business Development Center we are focused on helping our small business owner clients meet every challenge with expert advice and tools so that our communities can thrive.

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Startup Mendocino in the Ukiah Daily Journal

We're thrilled at being on the front page of The Ukiah Daily Journal.

Startup Mendocino, the inaugural launch of a countywide, business-pitch competition culminating with a showcase gala event on August 25th at Mendocino College Center Theater where the first-place winner will be awarded a cash prize of $10,000, is the brainchild of Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO of West Business Development Center (formerly WEST Company).

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Why Startup Mendocino? Why Now?

Two years ago, when I first started at West Business Development Center (formerly the West Company) as CEO, I hosted a screening of the documentary Generation Startup at Mendocino Community College. For the show’s promotion I teamed up with Jeff Parker, then new General Manager of KZYX. The film was about six entrepreneurs in Detroit capturing the struggles and triumphs of people who put everything on the line to build their businesses. It's an honest, in-depth look at what it takes to launch a startup, and it demonstrated the need for more entrepreneurs in our country overall.

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Startup Mendocino: Applications Now Open

We are proud to announce that our newest program, Startup Mendocino, is now open.

Startup Mendocino is a series of intense Business Bootcamp trainings culminating in a live pitch showcase gala event for Mendocino County entrepreneurs.

This exciting competition is the first of its kind in Mendocino County. It is designed to discover new and creative business opportunities and business ideas here in our local community. We’re looking for people who seek new ways to solve old problems, people with energy and passion, people who want to build new products and design services that enhance the community they love.

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Small Business Week in Mendocino & Lake Counties

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.

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Small Business: The Heart of Our Economic Growth

When policymakers and the public think of small businesses, most imagine single owner retail shops that have been in their neighborhood for dozens of years. But small business defined by the State of California, are any businesses with 100 people or less. On a national level, the Small Business Administration defines them as 500 or less employees. In this light, when considered collectively, small businesses truly hold the keys to our economic future.

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Ten Tips to Get Your Store, Restaurant or Lodging Establishment on The Map

Get ready for the 2019 tourist season with these ten tips from Marc Willson, a nationally known expert and speaker on helping independent and rural retailers, restaurants and lodgings win and keep customers.

West Business Development Center, in partnership with Visit Mendocino, the City of Fort Bragg and Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, is bringing Willson to the Coast for a dynamic, one-time only event Friday, May 17th at Fort Bragg Town Hall from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

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Get Found, Get Sales

In the world of internet jargon, SEO is a term thrown around almost daily. But what does it really mean? The technical definition for SEO is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”. The real-life translation of SEO is “making your business shine online” -- so you can get found by your customers.

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Get in on the Food Truck Game: Fort Bragg

Ever since Mark Manguera and Caroline Shin partnered with chef Roy Choi in Los Angeles and started a Kogi Korean BBQ truck in 2008, food trucks have sparked a dining out revolution. Far from just “street food”, food trucks offer top-notch cuisine and drive their success with mouth-watering Instagram posts and well-timed Tweets. The industry is now at $2 billion and growing every day, empowering minority and women-owned businesses, revitalizing communities and even driving economic growth.

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Women Helping Women

West Business Development Center was founded by women trying to make a difference in their community – teaching other women technical skills and giving the tools and capital to lift themselves out of poverty and to start small businesses.  While WestBDC has shifted its focus to offer free business advising and low-cost workshops to all business owners in Mendocino County, one of our core missions with our Women’s Business Center remains. Every month we bring together women from all over Mendocino County to come together and network.

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Thriving Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

As part of my work as CEO of West BDC, I attend conferences around the U.S. to learn more about small businesses, economic growth and community development. In March I attended the 39th Annual California Economic Development Conference for the second time. This conference in particular is focused on celebrating how California’s Economic Developers are “making it happen” every day in our communities. Although we don’t often connect the dots between small business and how they contribute to our economy as a whole, and even our quality of life as a community, what I’ve seen firsthand in my work here in Mendocino and Lake County demonstrates these important links everyday.

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