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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What does the Alameda County SBDC do?
Answer: Alameda County Small Business Development Center does 4 things:

  1. It conducts a wide variety of business seminars across Alameda County on subjects including Accessing Capital, Business Planning, e-commerce and web marketing, Human Resource Management, Expansion and Growth Capital, Legal and Business Issues and a variety of Best Practice programs designed to help small businesses use the best techniques possible to increase sales and profits.
  2. ACSBDC has a team of counselors who offer one-on-one help to clients in diverse areas of business. Most of the Alameda County Small Business Development Center counselors have advanced business degrees from top schools plus 20 or more years of work experience.
  3. ACSBDC also has relationships with a wide variety of other service providers and will help its clients get the right help for their specific issue if that resource is elsewhere. We refer clients to lenders, SCORE, the Technology Advisory Program, Women's Initiative and dozens of other groups in the Bay Area.
  4. Lastly, we answer calls from dozens of people each day regarding their information needs and help guide them through the company start-up process.

Question: What doesn't Alameda County SBDC do?
Answer: ACSBDC doesn't get involved in grants of any kind nor can it provide services for not-for-profits except as it relates to their business, financial, planning or expansion needs.

In addition, ACSBDC is not part of the business licensing process nor does it become involved in assisting business in obtaining such licenses. The process itself is strictly local in nature and a function of where the business is located and if it is a home based business. New entrepreneurs should go to the City Hall where their business is located and talk with the City's representative about fees and approved business uses. If the business will be home based, then talk the City officials where you live. The process is generally a simple one, involves a small fee of between $25 and $40 for most businesses and your local City Hall will have trained and experienced people to help you through the process.

Question: Where is Alameda County SBDC located?
Answer: We are located at 475 14th Street, Suite 100, Oakland, CA 94612


Question: Who are ACSBDC sponsors?
Answer: Funding for ACSBDC is provided by the U. S. Small Business Administration, the NorCal SBDC Network operated out of CSU Humboldt as well as most of the cities in Alameda County, and many other corporate partners.

Question: Does ACSBDC charge for its services?
Answer: In general, ACSBDC doesn't charge for its services including the one-on-one counseling program and many of its classes. Some classes require a small of fee of $20 to $30 per class to cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Question: What are the scope of services ACSBDC provides?
Answer: The Center will teach, host and sponsor some 150 educational programs each year with approximately 5,000 attendees. In addition, the Center will provide some 2,000 hours of free one-on-one counseling to between 200 and 300 clients across a broad range of business topics. Lastly, the Center will help another 2,500 companies get connected with the resources they need to be successful including lenders, SCORE, government agencies and other community organizations in the greater Bay Area.

Question: Where does ACSBDC teach its seminars?
Answer: ACSBDC teaches in several Cities across Alameda County and the Tri-Valley including Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, Fremont, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Livermore.

Question: What does ACSBDC look for in its clients?
Answer: ACSBDC is measured based upon the total economic impact generated by its clients. The criteria we are measured against include increases in sales and profits, loans received, new jobs created, companies that complete business plans and get started in business.

Therefore, ACSBDC clients need to demonstrate the ability to achieve significant Economic Impact with assistance and support from its consultants help and support.