June 23—Entrepreneurial support group 1 Million Cups held a presentation on financial resources and business consultation with the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on Wednesday.
Brynda Stranix, the company’s President and CEO, spoke to local business owners about the ways EDC helps take small businesses to the next level.
The not-for-profit company focuses on providing and facilitating consultation, leadership, and financial assistance for small business owners. Representatives like Stranix help entrepreneurs write business plans, evaluate projections, and develop marketing strategies to turn a business idea into action.
The Yuba-Sutter EDC is one of five in California, which makes it more competitive when facilitating grants, Stranix said. While grants for for-profit businesses are rare, EDC encourages entrepreneurs to apply for micro-grants. Businesses established in 2019 or earlier with less than $50,000 in revenue and fewer than five employees may qualify for a $2,500 COVID-19 relief grant.
The company also helps these businesses obtain loans by providing collateral or back-up financing.
“The Gap Loan Service is available for businesses that banks won’t finance,” Stranix said. “Let’s say you need $100,000, but you can only get $75,000. We’re here to help provide those additional funds.
While other regions have seen business pullbacks during the pandemic, nearly 250 new businesses have been created in the Yuba-Sutter region, Stranix said. With this increase, EDC was able to facilitate $4.5 million in grants for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
These funds were primarily used to ensure vulnerable businesses like hairdressers and restaurants had access to capital, Stranix said.
As businesses reopen and face labor and staffing shortages, the company has facilitated $11 million to hire and train new employees across various industries.
“Other communities have seen shrinkage, but we’ve seen growth,” Stranix said. “We are here to show business owners what resources are available and what can be done for others.”
The Wide-Awake Geek Creative Office and Creative Space hosts 1 Million Cups every Wednesday at 9am. The group is designed to lower the barrier of access to education and resources for entrepreneurs and new businesses, said Robbie Chaney, founding organizer of 1 Million Cups. in Yuba-Sutter.
The group hosts a maximum of two 6-minute presentations by local business owners or resource managers, followed by 20-minute question-and-answer sessions. Guests are encouraged to share their knowledge and resources with attendees rather than pitching ideas or investments.
“These are introductions, not introductions. These meetings are about making authentic connections for the community, by the community,” Chaney said.
Wide-Awake Geek is located at 922 G St. in Marysville and provides shared offices, meeting and creative spaces for members to work on their business goals.