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Uncover Resources for Small Business Hidden Owners at the NISBDC

Warren Mueller of NIC’s Small Business Development Center sits down with local podcaster, Ed Berjarana of the “Business Buffet” podcast channel, to talk about the North Idaho SBDC. The Business Buffett, a locally produced podcast, showcases resources for small business owners in the area.  Warren shines as he casts a spotlight onto the many services provided to Idaho’s five northern counties by the North Idaho SBDC.

The mission at NISBDC is to help existing businesses thrive and grow and to help budding entrepreneurs get into business. 

“But that’s not all”, says Mueller.  “We work to help entrepreneurs and business owners become effective business leaders.  Not just leaders of their business, but of themselves, of their employees. . .  and become more effective and involved leaders in their communities.  Because one of the things we feel very strongly about, is that thriving, successful small businesses lead to strong, thriving, communities.”

Business owners know that coaching can be expensive.  But not at the SBDC. 

What could a small business owner/entrepreneur expect to pay for coaching services at the SBDC?

Business Coaching, educational services, and research resources for small business are available, all at no charge to business owner and entrepreneurs. 

 “The North Idaho SBDC is supported partly by the Small Business Administration of the Federal Government and the State of Idaho.  Additionally, North Idaho College supports us by giving us space to work in.  So it’s not free, it’s just already paid for”, Mueller replies.

The NISBDC center is one of over one thousand centers nationwide.  We provide year-round webinars and classes on topics that are important resources for small business success such as financial management, digital marketing, eCommerce strategy and implementation, leadership development, and obtaining bank financing.

“But our major activity of resources for small business owners is our one-on-one business coaching. “We start out on a journey with you and we walk with you for as long as you want to walk with us.  Some clients here in North Idaho have had 10+ year relationships with us.  We also offer business research and business planning resources that are helpful for items like obtaining bank financing.”

What has been the overall impact to the North Idaho community with the SBDC program?

“Just in the year 2020, we worked with 350+ clients, 220 active business owners, and around 130 entrepreneurs.  Those businesses created 75 new jobs in North Idaho.  Client base accessed $17 million in new capital to fund business expansions, business purchases, and equipment.  They also increased sales over 2019 by 11 million dollars.  Pretty great results, considering challenges faced by small business owners during the COVID impacted past year.”

We help business owners leverage their game to improve their overall profitability in a variety of ways.  We look at a business, where it is at, and where improvements can be made.  We look at marketing and pricing strategies, operations, and management processes to see where efficiency can be improved.

How else does SBDC help with resources for small business owners?

Business owners often work 60-70 hours per week, or more, paying themselves last and sometimes not at all.  We can help uncover strategies to increase cash flow, restructure debt and payments.  NISBDC can share educational and grant opportunities as they arise, as well as opportunities to secure contracts with the federal government.

How does a business owner get involved with North Idaho SBDC?

The NISBDC office is located on the NIC campus in the Hedlund Building, rm #145.  Check out the website at  to register for one-on-one business coaching or the in-person training and webinars currently offered at no charge.  

Listen to Podcast in its entirety