John Balsam recently joined Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) as the new director of the Northwest Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC). A program of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the SBDC provides technical assistance and free, confidential counseling to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Balsam, who holds a master’s degree in business administration from The University of Montana, has spent the last 25 years as a consultant for a variety of companies in Montana and the United States helping them make informed business decisions. He has extensive experience conducting market research and working with technology-based companies to secure grant and contract funding for research and development activities.
In his current position, Balsam will assist startups and small businesses in Flathead, Lake and Lincoln counties with financing, business planning and market knowledge. He also will help technology businesses poised for growth to obtain funding for research, development and commercialization of their products.
“This is an exciting time to be in business in Northwest Montana,” said Balsam. “The revival of the economy here is bringing forward numerous opportunities for growth-oriented companies.”
The Northwest Montana SBDC is located on the FVCC campus and works in conjunction with the college’s economic development initiatives.
“Healthy small businesses and a well-educated workforce are critical to the success of our local economy,” said Susie Burch, FVCC’s executive director of economic development and continuing education. “The SBDC is a terrific complement to FVCC’s interest in strengthening resources for entrepreneurs as well as the college’s career and technical programs and workforce training. We are really pleased to have an individual with John’s technical skills and state-wide connections at the SBDC.”
Balsam is a long-time member of the Montana Economic Developers Association and previously served on the State Technology Partnership Committee and the Montana SBDC Advisory Board.