WW Small Business Center on the move

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Walla Walla's recently revived Small Business Development Center will be on the move in the coming months.

Though temporarily housed at the Port of Walla Walla's administrative office, 310 A St., the operation will move to the Walla Walla Regional Airport terminal building.

The empty space that formerly housed the gift shop -- which officials say has not been particularly successful over the years -- will be converted to office space.

Port Executive Director Jim Kuntz said the conversion should take place by September.

And if you're wondering how things have been going for the Small Business Development Center since it re-opened early this year, Director Joe Jacobs, gave a glimpse of the operation's first 78 days to a Port Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting in April.

A few details:

Jacobs has been working with 21 clients, and another four were scheduled for meetings.

Of the 21, seven are women-owned; three are Hispanic-owned; and three are veteran-owned.

Generally three to five service inquiries come through the office per day. Many are helped through an email exchange or 30-minute telephone call and are not counted as clients.

Of those who become clients, the numbers are basically split between new and existing businesses.

Business owners have ranged from artists to medical doctors and their sectors have included construction, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, information technology, health care, entertainment and accommodations and food service.

Five are each trying to access funding that will collectively total more than $1.3 million and create about 27 new jobs.

To learn more about the center, visit wsbdc.org or call Jacobs at 527-4681.

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