August 8, 2020 Susan Ferraro
Starting or running a successful business means more than having a vision — it means turning that vision into a successful, sustainable and growing enterprise.
That’s where the Greater Washtenaw Region of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), located on the campus of Washtenaw Community College, comes in.
The SBDC provides free business consulting to small business owners at all stages of development and provides services that include (among others) strategic planning, market research, web development, accounting and guidance on developing a business plan.
Meg Scaling, CEO of Ann Arbor-based Galaxy Brain and Therapy Center, turned to the SBDC early on in her company’s development for advice on how to structure the business, and later on how to develop a plan for its expansion.
Scaling’s business provides occupational, speech and physical therapy to people with brain injuries.
Working with SBDC Senior Business Consultant Shawn Preissle, Scaling was able to take the vision of her company and break it down into revenue-generating operational components.
Then came the pandemic. Small businesses were hit hard by COVID-19.
“The SBDC was instrumental in informing me of the Paycheck Protection Program, which gave us financial resources to accommodate the business disruptions we were facing,” said Scaling. “We needed to figure out how to offer our services in ways that were compliant with COVID-19 restrictions and most importantly, ensured our clients felt safe. Based on Shawn’s advice, we moved some of our services to a teletherapy mode, which allowed us to meet the needs of our clients virtually.”
Regional Director Charlie Penner said a large part of the work the SBDC is doing is advising businesses on available resources to assist them with the unexpected challenges they now face as a result of the pandemic.
“These resources are designed to help them sustain their businesses in the short term while providing a foundation to keep the businesses on track and poised for growth, Penner said. l
For more information about the SBDC and WCC's other partnerships with local business and industry, visit wccnet.edu/business.