The CNMI Small Business Development Center is widening its focus to include the islands of Tinian and Rota, according to director Perry A. Inos, Jr.
Inos said that since being part of the center a year ago, he has made it a point to get to those islands and talk to their business communities.
Speaking at the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting yesterday, Inos noted the “big disconnect” of Tinian and Rota to the island of Saipan.
“We're trying to bring whatever resources we have on hand to these island communities where the need is much greater than us here,” he told Rotarians.
The CNMI SBDC is part of the Pacific Islands Small Business Development Network and is funded in part by the Commonwealth Development Authority and the Department of Commerce.
Its mission is to support the growth and economic development of U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands in the Western Pacific by providing one-on-one confidential counseling and training to existing and prospective small businesses.
The center works in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Saipan Chamber of Commerce, CDA, Commerce, Tinian Chamber of Commerce, Tinian and Rota Mayor's offices, and the Northern Marianas Trades Institute.
Among the services the center provides are business consulting and counseling, small business training, resource/assistance, and community/village outreach.
The center has partnerships with commercial banks and other lending partners for loan programs.
While the CNMI SBDC is not a lending agency, Inos emphasized that their role is to help entrepreneurs get the funding they need to start their own business by providing them with business planning advice and guidance to support their loan application.
“Our advice and guidance does not imply approval of your loan application request or economic success. What we do is provide a greater chance for success,” Inos said, adding that it is the businessperson's responsibility to research the market and create their own business plan.
According to Inos, over 90 percent of businesses encounter serious problems or face outright failure due to lack of planning, hence the need for a business plan that covers important aspects of a business such as marketing, management, and finance.
He urged potential business owners to check out the CNMI SBDC at the ground floor of the Department of Commerce along Pohnpei Way on Capital Hill to see its myriad of resources that support proper business planning and projections.
For more information, call 664-3018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.