We asked nominator, Dr. Cathy Kemper-Pelle, President at RCC, how the college has demonstrated excellence in business and job creation. She told us the following:
"The RCC Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has served Josephine County, Oregon, since 1984. This county is home to approximately 86,400 residents, 6% of the state population, with an average annual household income of $38,035. The great Portland area is home to 1.8 million residents, 43% of the population, with an average annual household income of $59,926. There are nineteen Small Business Development Centers in Oregon. Each receives its statewide performance rankings annually based upon job creation, capital formation and new business starts. The RCC SBDC has ranked consistently high and has outperformed other centers serving much more populated counties.
From 2015- 2018, it has ranked first or second in new business starts and in 2018 ranked second in job creation. The RCC SBDC team consists of eight individuals with exceptional business experience in the areas of Strategic Planning, Finance, Online Marketing, Access to Capital, Business Operations, Branding and Communications. The SBDC provides advising hours to individual business owners, managers and entrepreneurs. In addition, it conducts individual training events with an increasing number of attendees. New and existing businesses credit the advising and training opportunities with the support they need to expand their businesses and create additional jobs in the local community.
At the 2019 Grants Pass-Josephine County Awards Banquet, RCC SBDC clients dominated the awards. Novum Visuals was awarded the Rising Star Award for best new business, and Wild Rogue Emporium was awarded the Small Business Excellence Award. These and other companies recognized at this event enthusiastically shared a common thread, support and training from the RCC SBDC.
Over the past six years, this SBDC has many remarkable accomplishments that have impacted job creation and economic development in Josephine County, Oregon. The SBDC worked with the City of Grants Pass to secure a Community Development Block grant supporting business training. An important partnership was formed with Josephine County and the Illinois Valley Community Development Organization to increase the revolving loan fund for capital for startups and existing businesses. The SBDC formed a Regional Capital Access Team in 2017 funded by the Ford Family Foundation, resulting in over $20 million in capital obtained for regional businesses and startups. Through partnerships with the Government Contract Assistance Program and the Next Level Plan, SBDC clients obtained over $15 million in 2016 and over $7 million in 2017 in new state and federal contracts. Also in 2018, the SBDC launched a new program to support Veteran entrepreneurs and existing Veteran business owners by establishing a 90% discount program for training and classes. The Regional Capital Access Team created over $5 million in capital for regional businesses and startups.
Finally, the SBDC assisted with project planning and financial capital creation for two new large residential affordable housing developments in Josephine County. The county is currently experiencing a critical shortage of affordable housing, and these two developments will provide county residents in the Illinois Valley with much needed housing. The work of the RCC SBDC has had a significant impact on the economy of Josephine County, creating 138 new businesses in the past six years. As a county slow to recover from the Great Recession and the collapse of the timber industry, the creation of over 500 new jobs in the this county is of major importance to the economy of the region. Many of these success stories are featured on the SBDC website. The RCC SBDC provides vital services to Josephine County that improve the economy of our region by supporting every stage of the business life cycle and improving the quality of life in our region."
Demonstration of Excellence