Small Business

We Want Your Small Business to Thrive

In St. Joseph, there are many ways to help small businesses. In addition to the programming and services offered with a Chamber membership, other entities have other avenues to provide small business support. Start-ups or those thinking of joining the small business world often seek advice from either the Missouri Western State University Center for Entrepreneurship or Northwest Missouri State University’s Small Business Development Center. Both offices provide services for free. For more information on the Center for Entrepreneurship, scroll down or see this site. For more on the SBDC, which has an office in the Chamber, see below. The Chamber also has an entire website and library for helpful articles to help you and your small business.

Small Business Development Center

The SBDC is an advisory service that transforms small business owners into successful entrepreneurs by building their business skills acumen. The St. Joseph center is supported by NWMSU, the SBA, and the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce. Call (816) 364-4105 or e-mail

Join SBDC on Facebook!

Who does SBDC serve?

SBDC is for new or veteran small business owners. The St. Joseph office can help residents in the following counties: Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Holt, Nodaway, Worth, Gentry and Atchison counties. If this center is not in your area find your center here.

In what ways can SBDC help my business?

SBDC covers many different aspects of business development. Some of those fields include:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Financial Management
  • Finding Financing
  • Business Management and Improved Efficiency
  • Business Start-Up

What does SBDC have to offer me?

The Missouri SBDC offers a state-wide network of expertise at your disposal to address nearly any questions or needs demanded by your business. You will receive confidential, individualized advice and education to improve your business’s operations and profits.

How can I receive help without setting up a personal consulation?

The SBDC offers training throughout the year that range from one to three hours in length. Program topics include:

  • Business — writing a business plan, starting a small business, understanding financial statements, monopolizing your market, taxes, financial analysis and customer service.
  • Technology — introduction to QuickBooks, Web site marketing and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

SBDC Fun Facts

  • Each year the local office of the SBDC counsels between 150-200 clients
  • Most services are offered at no charge
  • SBDCs serve manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, service businesses, inventors, construction, agriculture and other businesses.

Center for Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurship trains, mentors and supports business owners and entrepreneurs in the St. Joseph area and beyond. To learn more or contact the Center for a confidential, one-on-one consultation, email Annette Weeks at or call the entrepreneurship office at (816) 271-4283.

Consulting Services Offered

Whether you are an established business owner or new entrepreneur, the Center for Entrepreneurship’s free services include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Creating a business plan
  • Securing financial support
  • Filing and licensing
  • Hiring employees
  • Integrated marketing planning
  • Budgets and projections
  • Succession planning
  • Connecting you with resources

Connecting Entrepreneurs with Opportunities

The Center for Entrepreneurship assists family businesses that are wanting to sell, as well as buyers wanting to own their own business. Visit the Center’s Business SUCCESSion page for a list of area businesses available for sale. If you are interesting in listing your business, please fill out the online form or call the office.


If you have always dreamed of starting your own business or acquiring an existing business,  financing can be one of the biggest obstacles to achieving your goals. The Bradley Entrepreneur Loan Program, administered by the Center for Entrepreneurship, is a fund that offers micro-lending support to help entrepreneurs get started on their dreams. Your business may qualify to receive up to $100,000 to guarantee loans from banks to other lenders.

Entrepreneurs with an established relationship with Missouri Western, such as current students or alumni, are eligible to apply. The Center for Entrepreneurship will assist entrepreneurs who are interested in the program with every step of the process. All services are free and confidential.


Evergy has partnered with SizeUp – an online business intelligence company – to provide a free web-based data tool for small businesses located in the Evergy service area.

The SizeUp tool provides a variety of business intelligence including:

  • Local business owners can research information about their business’ performance, gather information to identify potential customers and target marketing. This will position them to be better prepared to emerge as the economy reopens.
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs can perform analysis about the viability of the business they would like to open. They can test whether their assumptions are realistic and can also gather data to create an informed business plan with market research.
  • Laid off workers can explore information about industries they may want to start a business and access data about businesses and consumers in the area.

Access SizeUp through Evergy’s Economic Development website. For tutorials and app, see this site.


For small business resources and more, please check out the