Demand high for SCORE business help in Clark County

Retired executives counsel owners of small businesses

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor

Published:

 

o Monday, July 22: "Understanding Business Financial Ratios."

Course leader: Bill Ruttledge.

9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Vancouver office, 4001 Main St., Room 120.

Fee: $55 (includes confidential financials mentoring).

o Thursday, July 25: "Smart Marketing for Success."

Course leader: Ava Stevens.

9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Vancouver office, 4001 Main St., Room 120.

Fee: $45.

o Wednesday, July 31: "QuickBooks Seminar."

Course leader: Ted Powell.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at iQ Credit Union Hazel Dell board room, 305 N.E. 81st St.

Fee: $85 (includes confidential QuickBooks mentoring).

o Aug. 14 and 15: "Your Business, Plan It, Start It, Grow It."

Course leader: Carlos Gonzalez.

9 a.m. to noon at Vancouver Housing Authority Community Room, 2500 Main St.

Fee: $99 for two sessions.

www.scorevancouver.org

o Monday, July 22: “Understanding Business Financial Ratios.”

Course leader: Bill Ruttledge.

9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Vancouver office, 4001 Main St., Room 120.

Fee: $55 (includes confidential financials mentoring).

o Thursday, July 25: “Smart Marketing for Success.”

Course leader: Ava Stevens.

9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Vancouver office, 4001 Main St., Room 120.

Fee: $45.

o Wednesday, July 31: “QuickBooks Seminar.”

Course leader: Ted Powell.

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at iQ Credit Union Hazel Dell board room, 305 N.E. 81st St.

Fee: $85 (includes confidential QuickBooks mentoring).

o Aug. 14 and 15: “Your Business, Plan It, Start It, Grow It.”

Course leader: Carlos Gonzalez.

9 a.m. to noon at Vancouver Housing Authority Community Room, 2500 Main St.

Fee: $99 for two sessions.

www.scorevancouver.org

The volunteer business executives who contribute their time and expertise to helping Clark County’s small-business owners and entrepreneurs through the SCORE program are keeping plenty busy this summer with classes and counseling.

SCORE — short for Service Corps of Retired Executives — is a nonprofit association affiliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration that is dedicated to entrepreneur education and assisting small businesses. While many retirees are enjoying the warm summer weather with travel and other leisure activities, some SCORE volunteers here in Clark County are preparing to offer business workshops later this month.

Sure, there’s still plenty of time for other activities, but for SCORE volunteers, “the expectations we have are very clear,” says Bill Ruttledge, chairman of SCORE’s Vancouver chapter. “They need to be available to serve as mentors six hours a month and attend our monthly meeting.” The organization makes provisions for vacations and other distractions, added Ruttledge.

Vancouver’s SCORE program has enjoyed a surge in volunteers this year, with about 30 mentors and several office staff volunteers. Most are retirees, said Ruttledge, a retired Wells Fargo Insurance Services

executive. The national program also chips in with mentors who provide advice by email, he said.

The boost in mentors — last year the Vancouver chapter had about 25, has allowed SCORE to whittle down its list of businesses and individuals waiting for business counseling, Ruttledge says. But even as economic indicators suggest that a recovery is under way, Ruttledge says SCORE hasn’t seen a drop in demand for SCORE’s services.

“We still see a lot of folks with concerns about their jobs who are thinking about becoming entrepreneurs,” he said. “That does not appear to us to be diminishing.”

Some of the classes being offered this month and in August have sold out in previous years and are filling up quickly so far this year.