In Business News

May is Small Business Month, celebrating and supporting the small business owners and entrepreneurs vital to our regional economy. According to the Small Business Administration, 657,529 people were employed by small businesses in 2022. Across the state, 98% of businesses are small businesses. Small businesses are foundational to the success of Southwest Washington. As we celebrate Small Business Month, we invite you to learn about our local small business owners.

Owner of NDUB Brand, Nathan Webster is a marketing specialist, podcaster, entrepreneur, author and professor. Webster joined Workforce Southwest Washington’s Board of Directors in June 2022.

When Nathan Webster launched NDUB Brand, he noticed that marketing tools and resources for nonprofits were not readily available. In response, he dove into web development, search engine optimization (SEO), digital marketing strategies and podcasting.

NDUB Brand launched in 2015 as a nonprofit consultancy, an organization that provides support and expertise to nonprofits. Webster set his sights on helping nonprofits and emerging leaders gain access to professional resources to scale their businesses. Since then, NDUB Brand has evolved into a marketing agency.

NDUB Brand provides marketing services including logo design, brand evaluation, brand standards, copywriting, photography, videography, paid ads and website development, hosting and maintenance. NDUB Brand clients include business owners from across the world.

In addition to running a business, Webster hosts the weekly Let’s Talk Marketing Podcast, sharing his passion and insights on how to build, create, expand, scale and sustain a business.

In 2021, NDUB Brand launched the annual Let’s Connect Conference, a safe and friendly event for Pacific Northwest business owners, c-suite executives and key leaders identifying as BIPOC, women or veterans to connect, grow and be encouraged.

“My impact goal is to build bridges of many communities stuck in red tape to self-doubt. I believe we’re all a couple of conversations from a career move,” said Webster. “I want to help those be great in their current path and connect others to help their endeavors.”

Throughout the seven years of operating NDUB Brand, Webster has found his stride through many successes. Webster is proud that his business has carved out a niche audience in Southwest Washington and credits his success to his adaptability through constant changes.

While Webster has found successes as a small business owner in Southwest Washington, he faced obstacles along the way. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Webster almost had to close his business. Prior to the pandemic, Webster worked primarily in-person with local businesses. Webster pivoted his business during the pandemic and received a grant that allowed his business to continue to thrive. The toll of the pandemic inspired Webster to launch his Let’s Connect Conference to serve the needs of underrepresented communities in business.

Looking to the future, Webster sees the Let’s Connect conference taking place in different cities, NDUB Brand expanding and hiring new employees, and fostering a business incubator spot in Southwest Washington.

“No one knows what the future holds, but you’re in control of whether or not your idea succeeds,” said Webster. “Success is different for all, so don’t try to be like everyone. Be you.”



Small Business Resources

Check out the following resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Southwest Washington:

Business POD Program – The Greater Vancouver Chamber assists business owners and entrepreneurs who live in the Southwest Washington region and want to start a business. The Business POD Program is designed to empower and educate small business owners through workshops and individual and peer cohort coaching sessions.

Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) – CREDC has resources available to existing businesses and start-ups. Available services include market data, connections to industry and education partners, help determining relevant incentives and more.

Connect and Navigate 2023 Small Business Resource Fair – In honor of the City of Vancouver’s Small Business Month in May, Vancouver Community Library and the City of Vancouver are co-hosting Connect and Navigate 2023 on May 11.

Cowlitz Economic Development Council (CEDC) – The CEDC works closely with businesses of all sizes, including small businesses, microenterprises, and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Their staff of experts provide consulting, education, provide networking opportunities, financial resources and more!

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) – CWCOG has several programs that support small businesses. Including a revolving loan fund and the Lower Columbia Investment Network.

SCORE – SCORE provides a wide range of services to established and budding business owners alike, including free mentoring, webinars, courses on demand, local workshops and online resources.

The local SCORE chapter hosts webinars, and in person events at the Longview Public Library and the Vancouver Community Library.

Small Business Bootcamp – The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce hosts a series of Business Bootcamps every year to equip your business with the tools needed for success.

Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) – WSW brings together businesses, training and education providers, government agencies and economic development partners to address the workforce needs of local companies and industries. Available resources include recruitment and retention, internship programs, employee training and more!

WorkSource Vancouver and Cowlitz/Wahkiakum – WorkSource can help your business with hiring, crafting job descriptions, identifying tax credits and more!

Small Business Administration (SBA) – the SBA helps small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. SBA is the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business and provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise as the nation’s only go-to resource and voice for small businesses.

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