The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) offers no-cost expert assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Are you ready to start or grow your business? We can help.

Since 1992, the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) has provided no-cost professional expertise and guidance to hundreds of business owners. We combine one-on-one confidential advising with training programs to give our clients the tools and insight they need to reach their business goals.

We’ve celebrated many successes with clients at all stages of business development.

We would love for you to be our next success story.

Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so that you can grow and sustain your business over time. We can assist with:

  • Startup planning
  • Financing
  • Sales/marketing
  • Growth strategies
  • Financial management
  • Operations

Whether you’re just starting out or are an existing business owner, together we can take your business to the next level. Let’s get started!

Welcome to the VtSBDC

VtSBDC State Director Linda Rossi

The VtSBDC works to positively impact and strengthen established businesses and start-ups throughout Vermont. As State Director since June of 2013, I’ve seen hundreds of businesses flourish thanks to the support and guidance of our dedicated team of advisors.

As an organization, we help Vermonters:
• Create jobs
• Secure capital for their businesses
• Build wealth in their businesses
• Grow the local economy

I encourage you to explore the services we offer and meet the people on our team. Our advisors are experienced business professionals who are deeply committed to working with business owners. Each business advisor serves a particular county and collaborates with the regional economic development corporations as part of the state’s “one-stop-shop” economic development deployment plan.

Our clients have access to regional and national resourcesindustry market research, and a wide range of tools. For example, we offer a financial analysis tool that helps business owners compare their business to others in the same industry, explore options, and test assumptions before putting them into action. Many have called it “one of their best business strategies.”

The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is a statewide program of the Vermont State Colleges, hosted by Vermont Technical College.  VtSBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and nationally accredited by the Association of Small Business Development Centers.

Following are some frequently asked questions to help you learn more about VtSBDC. Click on each question to see the response.

What is the VtSBDC and what services does VtSBDC provide?

Whether you are starting your own business, or already own and operate your own business, VtSBDC is here to help. As part of the national SBDC network, the VtSBDC is your number one statewide small business resource in Vermont for every stage of business.  

From start-up to transition, we offer the knowledge, experience, and resources to help you start, grow, sustain, or exit your small business.  Our certified professional business advisors bring a wealth of experience, education, and expertise to the small business owner through one-on-one advising, training, and guidance.  We help Vermonters start businesses, create jobs, secure capital, build enterprise value, and grow the local economy. 

The VtSBDC is a program of the Vermont State Colleges, hosted by Vermont Technical College.  It is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and nationally accredited by the Association of Small Business Development Centers.

What do VtSBDC services cost?

Advising services are provided at no cost.  There are nominal fees for some seminars and workshops.

How do I qualify to work with VtSBDC?

  • If you are starting a business, there is a two-step process to begin: 1) attendance at a no-cost “Starting Your Own Business (SYOB)” workshop (available virtually on a monthly basis with live Q/A – or an on-demand version) and 2) answer a few basic questions about your new venture. Finally, review part 2 of Frequently Asked Questions about Starting Your Own Business.
  • If you are already in business, the opportunity to work with an advisor is immediately available. We ask you to provide us with some basic information about your business and the topic(s) where you would like to have one-on-one advising.  
  • Note: VtSBDC’s primary focus is for-profit businesses. Leaders of non-profit businesses are welcome to attend applicable VtSBDC workshops.

Does the VtSBDC provide financing or give out grants?

  • The VtSBDC is not a lending, grant writing, or research institution.  We do have solid relationships with the financial institutions in Vermont that can provide financing options to best fit your business needs.  We can help you locate the appropriate source and assist with preparation of the necessary business planning documents to apply for a loan.  However, you must apply through the usual application process for a loan and supply all the pertinent records required.  We cannot guarantee that your loan request will be approved.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Grants provided to business start-ups are extremely rare, especially for-profit businesses.  We strongly recommend you not spend valuable time looking for grants, and instead focus on what funds can be realistically accessed.    

How do advising sessions work? And how do we schedule follow up sessions?

  • Our role as Business Advisors is to help you start, grow, improve, or transition your business.  How long and how often you meet with your advisor will be determined by the work that needs to be done.  We will, however, work with you as long as you own the business and find advising productive. 

Where can I find on-line resources?

  • VtSBDC has prepared a wide range of excellent online resources for you to explore, many of them specific to doing business in Vermont. You can also check the Small Business Administration website for additional resources.
  • There are also many resources available by searching on the internet for the specific information you need. We do suggest you carefully vet the source of the information found on the internet. We recommend that you begin with our resources tailored for Vermont’s small businesses.

How do I register for classes/workshops?

  • Go to the Training & Workshops tab on our website, look for the class you want to register for, click on the class, scroll down, and click on the red tab that says “Register Here.” Then follow the prompts and enter your name, email, home address, and phone number. Once completed, you will receive an email confirmation.

Will information I discuss with a VtSBDC Advisor be kept confidential?

  • Yes, absolutely. All information shared with the VtSBDC is strictly confidential and will not be released to any party without consent of the small business client.  Each client is required to sign a document which includes a statement that commits us to this confidentiality. The client feature stories you see on our website and posted to our social media platforms have been published with permission from the client.