Small Business Development Center


A common question we hear at the Small Business Development Center is, “How do I recruit and retain great employees?”

What we sometimes find lurking behind this question is a workplace impasse, dispute or just a simple disagreement that can cause a team member to question their future with an employer…or leave the employer wondering if they made a bad hiring decision.

With so many job opportunities in the market now, some workers choose to move on at the first sign of trouble. Such early exits can be costly to both the employer and the departing employee.... Read more

One of our clients at the Small Business Development Center ­– let's call her Allison for the sake of this story ­– came to see us recently with the question; “My company has been growing 100% year over year, we are selling our products like crazy, we have great profit margins, so how is it that everyone gets paid…but me?”


Allison is smart – VERY smart. She had a great product idea that was innovative and immediately successful from the time she launched her business part-time out of her garage.

To be successful... Read more

Bizu Getachew has been providing care to people who are old or infirm for most of her life. An immigrant from Ethiopia by way of Bulgaria and a refugee camp in Greece, Getachew settled in Seattle in 1996 soon after winning a U.S. Green Card Lottery. While working at an adult family home in Seattle, she realized that she enjoyed her work and was good at it. That's when she started thinking, "Why don't I have my own business?" Today Getachew and her husband, Tsegaye Mekonnen, own two eldercare homes in Ferndale.

Grace Adult Family Home, is located on f... Read more

Here in Whatcom County, local business interact with a high percentage of Canadian and international partners and clients. Many employees in Whatcom County are working for businesses owned in full or part by non-US citizens, and our Higher Ed institutions continue to attract talented international students.

Canadian citizens and other internationals have personal, educational and business ties in the US. Many of these international community members are subject to IRS filing requirements.

... Read more

We are pleased to announce our Whatcom County economic-impact figures for last year. 2015 was a great year and helped once again show the value of the SBDC to the local economy and business community!

Among the highlights from last year's efforts by SBDC staff:

  • The SBDC's three certified business advisors counseled 317 clients, including clients seen through its eight satellite offices throughout Whatcom County.
  • The SBDC staff provided 3,330 hoursof in-depth counseling and research ─... Read more