In a sudden and unexpected move, the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) announced yesterday that it would be closing permanently. Employees arrived to work at SARTA on Tuesday morning only to be sent home. Employees were told that they were out of a job and wouldn’t need to come back.
Like Sierra Commons in Nevada County, SARTA has been a pivotal force in economic development in the Sacramento region. Focusing on the tech aspect of many industries, SARTA has been instrumental in connecting people to resources and helping small business owners with support and education. Many businesses in the Sacramento region have used SARTA’s resources to network, find funding, and to take their businesses to the next level. Sierra Commons has partnered with SARTA for multiple events in the past and has enjoyed the resources that SARTA has offered. The loss of SARTA in Sacramento will have a lasting impact on small business development in the region.
In a statement about SARTA’s closing, CEO Howard Bubb said, “The region has evolved to the point that businesses and individuals are putting their support elsewhere. There is only so much funding available for economic development.”
Sadly, Howard Bubb is absolutely right. Sierra Commons, Nevada County’s non-profit business education center and coworking space, supports its overhead with rental income from desk and office rental in our coworking facility. Our staffing and education programs are entirely dependent on the support of donations, volunteers, and, occasionally, grant money. Sadly, this support has declined dramatically in the past two years.
Sierra Commons has helped to start and support a number of business locally and regionally in Nevada County. Some of our past clients and graduates of our signature course, our “Business Ignitor,” include Shana Maziarz of Three Forks Bakery and Brewery, Victoria LaFont of Truly Healthy Protein Powder, Dave Myler of Boga Paddle Boards, Erin Noel of Community Legal, and many, many more.
Don’t let Sierra Commons face the same fate as SARTA. Support your local economic development center. Help Sierra Commons support your local businesses and local economy. Donate now.