For nearly 40 years the Thurston EDC has had a simple mission. They aim “to create a dynamic and sustainable economy that supports the values of the people who live and work in Thurston County.” To do this, their hardworking Board of Directors call on their own hard-won expertise as business owners to benefit others who may be just starting out or find themselves ready for change. Michael McGualy of StraderHallett PS has gone from EDC client to board member and maintains his passion for the EDC’s many growth opportunities.
McGualy first heard about the EDC after moving to the Thurston County region in 2005 when he joined StraderHallet PS as an accountant. “Our firm uses the resources the EDC has to offer to all of the businesses of Thurston County,” says McGualy. “Especially for new businesses, the EDC can be a great resource with the SCORE counselors, WCWB counselors and training for how to run a business.”
The EDC’s encompassing nonprofit SCORE program matches experienced businesspeople and retired executives with anyone looking to start a business of their own. Locally, the Center for Business and Innovation (CB&I) has nearly a dozen such mentors available. With varied experience and expertise, they are a tremendous knowledge resource for someone just starting out.
The Washington Center for Women in Business (WCWB) is designed for those thinking about a new business of their own or women who are looking to grow and improve their small or medium existing company. Their training provides coaching, training and technical assistance to those needing a little guidance, support or transition help.
“Business thrives when there is a vibrant, sustainable economy,” says McGualy. “That requires collaboration between businesses, government and educational institutions. The EDC helps to pull those groups together to try to work toward a common goal of a strong Thurston County.”
A Certified Public Accountant since 1996, McGualy has built up experience with a focus on tax, financial statement and consulting to businesses in the service industry like attorneys, doctors and dentists. He even serves as treasurer for the EDC. When not working, he greatly enjoys basketball, dogs and family.
“While the EDC runs a number of programs through its office the EDC, at its core, is funded by the support of members,” he explains. “I would love to see more of the businesses that utilize the EDC resources become members of the organization. This will allow the organization to expand their services. Additionally, I would have people know that the CB&I is a 501(c)3 organization and is always willing to take donations or bequests.”
Economic development is the lifeblood of a community. Experts explain that “Economic development has a lasting impact on a community. Job providers purchase goods and services they need to operate, and their workers purchase goods and services they need to live. Money changes hands many times as it flows through the local economy and creates overall prosperity enjoyed by all citizens. Attracting and growing businesses strengthens our economy providing locally-produced goods and services. Strong businesses pay taxes that go for vital services such as schools, roads, fire, and police. Businesses also provide good jobs that put money in people’s pockets and allow for a higher quality of life.”
If you would like to know more or take advantage of their seemingly endless resources and knowledge base, fill out the EDC’s contact page and someone will get back to you. Or you can email staff via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360.754.6320 with questions or to arrange an informational visit. You can also follow them on Facebook for upcoming activity sessions or events as COVID restrictions are eased and in-person meet-and-greets resume.
Need an accountant? Give StraderHallett PS a call at 360.456.2100 today. Since 1983, their firm has focused on the values of integrity, empathy, communication, commitment, growth, community and quality of life. Staff provides a dedicated, personal touch and can help thanks to many years of experience and acumen.
Experience often brings expertise. Having hands-on, real world know-how turns workaday employees and business owners into something truly special. If you or someone you know has a company in need of help, a fresh start or just a little pick-me-up, let the Thurston EDC help.