KLAMATH FALLS — The Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center was recently honored with the U.S. Small Business Administration Pacific Northwest SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award for 2022 during an awards presentation ceremony at KCC honoring the organization.

KCC SBDC Director Kat Rutledge was on hand to formally accept the award from Small Business Association (SBA) Portland District Director Martin Golden. The award is bestowed annually in recognition of SBDC service centers that excel in providing tremendous value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation.

“I am humbled at being nominated, let alone selected for this award,” said Rutledge after accepting the award. “The last couple of years have been incredibly challenging for our small businesses and it has been an honor to be in position to help them, albeit in a small way. As I’ve said before, it was a privilege, and let’s never do it again!”

The KCC SBDC was honored in part for its role in supporting and sustaining small businesses in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting with Payroll Protection Loans, Economic Disaster Loans, and additional funding opportunities.

“I am so excited to announce this year’s winners of our Pacific Northwest regional awards for National Small Business Week,” said SBA Regional Administrator Mike Fong. “Valued resource partners like the Klamath Community College SBDC worked tirelessly to help businesses navigate through the pandemic to be more resilient and position themselves to thrive into the future. I want to thank all our small business owners and resource partners across the region for what they do each and every day for our communities.”

Speakers at the ceremony included KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez, Oregon SBDC Network State Director Mark Gregory, KCC Vice President of External Programs Chip Massie, Golden, and Rutledge.

The KCC SBDC serves the small business community in Klamath and Lake counties, offering a number of services and guided assistance to help business owners, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses achieve success through training, counseling, and development assistance. Each year, approximately 55% of the clients we serve are existing businesses, and 45% are pre-venture.

It is one of 21 SBDC’s serving small businesses across Oregon as part of a national collaborative network in partnership with universities, community colleges, economic development agencies and private partners. The SBA Pacific Northwest region includes SBDC offices in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.

KCC SBDC also plays a prominent role in the Klamath IDEA – a community-oriented collective of businesses and community leaders working to collaboratively connect entrepreneurs with available resources.

For more information about the KCC SBDC and services available visit oregonsbdc.org/centers/klamath-sbdc, or call 541-205-5404.

SBDC Director Kat Rutledge (left) accepts the 2022 Pacific Northwest SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award from Small Business Association Portland District Director Martin Golden.

SBDC Award Marty Golden speaking

SBDC Award Marty Golden and Kat Rutledge