New center helping women get ahead in business

New center helping women get ahead in business

SPOKANE, Wash. - SNAP's women's business center, now open in the East Central Community Center, is open and ready to give women a helping hand to get their small businesses off the ground.

The women's business center is the only one of its kind in the region. It's been open for less than a month, and is already helping women launch businesses throughout the area.

Inside, manager Laurie Roth offers advice to clients like Heather Riviere, who wants to open a crepe food truck, a sweet idea that actually came during a sour time.

"I was laid off in November and thought this is the perfect opportunity for me to do something in synch with who I am," Riviere said.

For the last month, Riviere has been using the center, getting one-on-one help from Roth and taking courses on how to run a business.

"There is no way I could have taken the idea and gotten to this point on my own, the team has just been amazing," Riviere said.

Right now there are about 20 women who are using the resources of the center.

"The person that is dreaming of a small business can utilize the center here and the resources we have to do the market resource and have technical assistance," Roth explained.

The center got started from a grant through the US Small Business Administration. Spokane was one of just six cities in the country to receive funding.

"We can give them the tools they need to establish sound business plans and projections, we assist them in making loan applications packages so that they can launch their business successfully," Roth explained.

Riviere has already purchased a food truck and is now working out all the details so she can serve up crepes to Coeur d'Alene residents by May.

The women's business center is free to use and is open every weekday and on some Saturdays