Celebrating small business

Full Circle Supply store front.

Full Circle Supply owners Josh and Mary Larson turned to the Small Business Development Center when launching their business in downtown La Crosse.

UWL Small Business Development Center to honor Coulee Region start-ups

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UWL will celebrate more than 25 small businesses that started in the Coulee Region in 2018. “Celebrate Small Business” will be held Thursday, June 6, in The Bluffs at the UWL Student Union, 521 East Ave. N.

Breakfast begins at 7:20 a.m. The program begins at 7:30 a.m. and will end by 9 a.m. Registration is $25; pre-registration is required. Seating is limited. Register at: https://celebratesmallbusiness2019.eventbrite.com. Proceeds from the event will support area small businesses and outreach.

The event will feature Sarah Fecht, a human resources professional and owner of Best Self Leadership, who will speak on “Finding the Help to Grow: Strategies and Trends to Meet Workforce Needs.”

The breakfast will also include “Annual Update: The Business Dynamics Driving Coulee Region Economic Activity.” The presentation is geared toward area businesses, those planning on starting a small business, professionals who support businesses, and those involved in economic and community development.

In 2018, the UWL SBDC assisted 374 clients in starting, growing and managing their businesses. The center assisted businesses in accessing $5.4 million in capital investments in 2018. Six funders — Altra Federal Credit Union, Merchants Bank, Park Bank, Spring Bank, State Bank Financial and Westby Co-op Credit Union — will be recognized as “Wisconsin Small Business Funders.”

In addition, Spring Bank will join Coulee Bank and Park Bank as “Wisconsin Million$$ Small Business Funders.” Spring Bank will be recognized as the “2018 Wisconsin Small Business Funder of the Year” for providing more than $1.9 million to small businesses assisted by UWL’s SBDC.

Terry Whipple, Juneau County Economic Development, and Sarah Arendt-Beyer, an area marketing professional, will receive “Business Development Champion” awards for their involvement and contributions to supporting businesses and fostering economic growth and activity in the Coulee Region.

“Business in the Coulee Region continues to expand and area resources are critical to enable those businesses to start and grow,” says Anne Hlavacka, director of the UWL SBDC. “The increase we’ve seen in client activity which has more than doubled since 2010 speaks well of the region’s resilience and strength as a place to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.”

The event is financially supported by Merchants Bank and is provided by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UWL and the UWL Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. For additional information, contact the center at sbdc@uwlax.edu or 608.785.8782.