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  • Resources for Start-Ups and Small Businesses


    Small businesses in Clark County and surrounding areas of SW Washington make up the majority of membership within the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. We estimate that over 70% of our member businesses have ten full time employees or less; with a staggering 80% of new members who’ve joined over the past four years with five employees or less.

    On this page we've outline a number of resources for:

    • Individuals interested in starting a new business
    • Current business owners looking for assistance within specific areas of focus or need
    • Businesses looking to relocate or expand within SW Washington

    Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

    The Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a network of more than 30 expert business advisors working in communities across the state to help entrepreneurs or small business owners start, grow or buy/sell a business. SBDC advisors provide one-on-one, confidential, no-cost advising on all phases of small business development and are often co-located with economic development specialists in community colleges, economic development agencies or government agencies. Other services of the Washington SBDC include no-cost or low-cost workshops on a variety of business topics and customized market research services.


    U.S. Small Business Administration

    The SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Their Portland District Office also serves SW Washington.

  • PTAC Government Counseling

    SWWA@WashingtonPTAC.org.PTAC logo

    The Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) of Washington State provides free one-on-one counseling and training to help businesses in Clark, Cowlitz, and Skamania Counties understand how to do business with local, state, and federal agencies. Southwest Washington PTAC Counselor, Jeannet Santiago is available to answer questions and assist your business with any Government Contracting processes. To learn more, Jeannet can be reached at 503.694.9403 or by email at



    For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education. As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964. Visit their Vancouver, Washington office resource page, serving Clark County, Longview, and the Columbia Gorge.


    Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW)

    Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) helps companies pursue opportunities. From finding new talent to creating apprenticeship programs and improving the skills of existing employees, WSW investments allow manufacturing, healthcare, construction and tech companies to attract, hire and retain the workers they need, bring on new lines of business, improve efficiencies and grow. Since 2003, they've invested more than $100 million to get people working in Southwest Washington.


    Washington State University Vancouver's Business Growth MAP

    Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver’s Business Growth MAP helps local small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed while providing educational opportunities for Carson College of Business students. The program is comprised of a pro-bono student consultancy and a monthly small business forum. Business Growth MAP is cultivating the next generation of business leaders. With 95% of WSU Vancouver students staying in the region, the program is placing experienced graduates into the local economy. As small businesses find innovative ways to become profitable, the community gains a healthier job market, creating more revenue for the Southwest Washington and Portland metro area.


    Pre-Lease Program by the City of Vancouver

    The Pre-Lease program is a resource for business owners who want to lease or buy commercial space, property owners wanting to renovate/redevelop commercial space, and for food truck vendors locating in the City of Vancouver. Staff from relevant city departments will meet with you in the new space, conduct a walk through, and provide comments and answer questions. The focus area for this program are the City Center and Fourth Plain Corridor Subareas.



    Additional Resource Links:


    Policy Information:

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