Why Meet with a Counselor?

The Laurel Ridge SBDC provides accessible and knowledgeable resources through its staff and specialized consultants. Learn more about how they can benefit you.

Small businesses and small nonprofits often face situations that require expert guidance to avoid costly mistakes. The Laurel Ridge SBDC provides accessible and knowledgeable resources through its staff and specialized consultants. These experts are adept at identifying potential problems that even the best planning might have overlooked – and every entrepreneur can benefit from getting a fresh perspective. With comprehensive and objective feedback – as early in the process as possible – your strategies and next steps will be much clearer. Plus, SBDC services are without cost, leaving you more resources to spend on starting or growing your business.


Entrepreneurs starting a venture often face many unexpected challenges. They might wonder which steps they should take first, or even worry about what questions they have not even thought to ask. At the very earliest concept for a business venture, our staff and specialized consultants provide objective feedback and suggest approaches you might have overlooked. AllLaurel Ridge SBDC services are provided without cost and all sessions are held in strictest confidence. Types of guidance we can provide include:

  • Objective feedback on your business concept
  • Steps for Starting a Business checklist
  • Our Business Planning Guide – one of our top resources
  • Referral to sources of professional guidance – attorneys, accountants, and more
  • Connections to key resources that will help you start and grow your business
  • Guidance on obtaining government permits
  • Expert financial counseling to make sure your concept is viable; assistance in planning your early-stage financing, preparing a strong loan application, and connecting to lenders.
  • Assistance with site selection

Existing Businesses

Businesses that are already established in the area can benefit from contacting our small business experts for objective feedback and suggestions on improving their operations, marketing and profitability. We are an independent nonprofit organization with strong connections to federal, state and local governments, as well as local business and academic resources. This allows us unique access to information that can be hugely beneficial to our small business clients. Types of guidance we can provide include:

  • Updating or improving your business plan – or writing one if you started without it
  • Financial management guidance with a small business financial expert
  • Help obtaining operating or expansion capital
  • Referrals to respected experts such as attorneys, accountants and bookkeepers
  • Connections to resources and organizations to help with marketing and networking
  • Help with regulatory issues
  • Growth strategies; new markets such as Government Contracting or International Trade
  • Marketing and social media guidance
  • Human resources help
  • Business acquisition
  • Rapid response from Laurel Ridge SBDC staff when you encounter problems or have pressing questions
  • Timely and information-packed business educational programs