VtSBDC: What You Need to Know
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 (link here).
- 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?
- A wide range of excellent online resources is on our website: www.vtsbdc.org and the Small Business Administration website: www.sba.gov.
- 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.