Valley Small Business Development Corporation (“Valley”) has been approved for a small business technical assistance grant from Union Bank for three years (2013 – 2015) to establish a Technical Resource and Assistance Center (“TRAC”) program that will focus on the preparation of existing small businesses to be “loan ready”. Valley will work with numerous economic service providers in the Fresno metropolitan area including the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation. The TRAC program will operate as a complimentary department in tandem with Valley’s existing Loan Department. The long-term goal is to qualify more small business owners for new operating capital through a focused set of technical assistance tools – such as the review of financial statements, improving operational margins, preparing appropriate financial reports, and the development of achievable projections. The TRAC is located on the second floor of the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation’s Downtown Business Hub.
The Union Bank TRAC program is the Central San Joaquin Valley’s flagship technical assistance provider offering no-cost or low-cost business counseling, training, technical assistance, and mentoring. Operating hours for the TRAC program will be Monday thru Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. Private offices are available to conduct one-on-one counseling sessions. All counseling sessions are confidential and designed to protect the privacy of the small business owner. In addition to counseling, a variety of workshops will be offered to interested individuals and business owners.
Trac Services Provided
Small business owners will be able to receive counseling focused on “loan readiness”, technical assistance on financial trouble-shooting, and one-on-one training on any business issue, both directly from TRAC staff and if necessary via referrals to other, more appropriate, business service providers. However, emphasis will be made to reach and achieve economic and financial impact with existing small businesses. With the creation of economic impact (increased revenues, job creation, business expansion, and capital infusion) as key deliverables, initial areas of information, counseling, training and technical assistance will include, but not be limited to, the following areas:
- Understanding commercial lending products – Knowing the type of loans available and what makes sense for your business and its needs.
- Key elements of financial capacity – Understanding the type of financing needed, the “C’s” of underwriting.
- Loan Packaging – Understanding how to collect and develop the required documents to package and submit a complete and accurate loan request.
- Managing internal financial systems – Maintaining accessible and accurate financial data, understanding financial statements to monitor business health, using financial statements to determine and support the pursuit of commercial lending.
- Fiscal responsibility and successful loan servicing techniques (maintaining fundability).
Revenue Development and Expansion
- Strategies for developing new markets for existing products/services.
- Exploring product/service diversification & partnerships.
- Strategic planning for proposed expansion.
- Alternative channels for revenue generation – Government Procurement, Exporting, Corporate Matchmaking.
- Branding and competitive positioning.
- Identifying and maximizing key differentiators.
- Strategic marketing plan development.
- Marketing through technology – Web site effectiveness, social media applicability & mobile application potential.
Management & Planning
- Internal controls and systems that increase productivity.
- Giving your business an annual check-up.
- Planning – Business plans, strategic plans and project plans.
Utilizing Available Resources
- Capitalizing on vendor services – Banks: Remote deposit, payroll uploads, report generation, debit/credit transactions, etc.
- Local business assistance programs & community based organizations.
- Regional public and private organizations that every business owner should know.
- Resources found in educational institutions.