Jun. 23—The entrepreneurial support group 1 Million Cups hosted a presentation regarding financial resources and business consultation with the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on Wednesday.
Brynda Stranix, president and CEO of the corporation, spoke in front of local business owners about the ways the EDC helps propel small businesses to the next level.
The nonprofit corporation focuses on providing and facilitating consultation, direction and financial assistance for small business owners. Representatives like Stranix help entrepreneurs write business plans, assess projects and develop marketing strategies to turn a business idea into action.
The Yuba-Sutter EDC is one of five in California, making it more competitive when facilitating grants, Stranix said. While grants for for-profit businesses are uncommon, the EDC is encouraging entrepreneurs to apply for micro grants. Businesses established in or before 2019 with less than $50,000 in revenue and fewer than five employees may qualify for a $2,500 COVID-19 relief grant.
The corporation also helps these companies obtain loans by providing collateral or gap financing.
“The gap loan service is available for businesses that banks won’t finance,” Stranix said. “Let’s say you need $100,000, but can only get $75,000. We’re here to help provide those extra funds.”
While other areas have seen retractions of businesses during the pandemic, nearly 250 new businesses were established in the Yuba-Sutter area, Stranix said. Because of this increase, the EDC has been able to facilitate $4.5 million in grants for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
These funds were primarily used to ensure that vulnerable businesses like hairdressers and restaurants had access to capital, Stranix said.
As companies reopen and face ongoing labor and staffing shortages, the corporation facilitated $11 million in order to hire and train new employees in various industries.
“Other communities have seen retractions, but we have had growth,” Stranix said. “We’re here to show business owners what resources are out there and what can be brought to others.”
The creative office and makers-space Wide-Awake Geek hosts 1 Million Cups every Wednesday at 9 am The group is designed to lower the barrier of access to education and resources to entrepreneurs and new businesses, said Robbie Chaney, finding organizer for 1 Million Cups in Yuba-Sutter.
The group hosts a maximum of two 6-minute presentations from local business owners or resource managers followed by 20-minute question-and-answer sessions. Guests are asked to share their knowledge and resources with attendants rather than pitch ideas or investments.
“These are presentations, not pitches. These meetings are for establishing authentic connections for the community, by the community,” Chaney said.
Wide-Awake Geek is located at 922 G St. in Marysville and provides communal office, meeting and creative spaces for members to work on their business goals.