North Coast SBDCEureka and Crescent City California

Tourism Flight 2017


[deadline extended by popular demand]

Tourism Business Learning Program Flyer 2017 
Download program flyer.
To apply, (1) send us completed program application and scholarship application, and (2) set up your online request for services.

Do you have--or want to have--a business in Humboldt County that serves tourists? 

  • History and cultural tour operators
  • Eco/wilderness adventure guides
  • Gift and specialty retailers
  • Hospitality and lodging services
  • Entertainment / party services
  • Personal / wellness services (spa treatments, massage, etc.)
  • ...and more!

The North Coast Small Business Development Center is building a learning and coaching program for entrepreneurs in the tourism industry. Is This for Me? If tourists do/will comprise 50% or more of your business income... this program may be for you. You may be eligible for a full scholarship if your business has five or fewer employees, or you are pre-start-up, AND your household lives with a low-to-moderate income.

APPLY BY September 25th

Application instructions below. Call (707) 445-9720 or stop by our offices at 520 E Street, Eureka to ask questions or fill out your application in person. Late applications will be considered--but please contact us first.

Step (1) YOU APPLY 

Complete the three items below.

  1. Income Eligibility Form (PDF) * This is how we determine your eligibility for a full scholarship. It must be filled out completely or we cannot process it. All information is kept confidential. Call us any time at (707) 445-9720 x210 if you need help with the questions.
  2. Sign up online as a client (Online Form)* Be sure to specify you’re a Tourism Flight candidate. This gets you into the system so you can access help no matter what.
  3. Fill out Flight Application (MS Word) * Download, fill out thoughtfully, and return by email, mail or in person. This helps us figure out if this program is the right one for you.

You can submit the Income Eligibility Form and Flight Program Application by email to or you can bring/mail them to North Coast SBDC Flights Program, 520 E Street, Eureka, CA 95501 Call (707) 445-9720 x210 with questinos

Step (2) WE CONFIRM YOUR INCOME ELIGIBILITY. You will get prompt confirmation that we received your application and saying whether you are income eligible for this program. 

Step (3) WE CONFIRM YOUR FLIGHT ELIGIBILITY You will get a phone call and an email after your application has been reviewed letting you know whether it's time to set up your intake interview. That conversation will allow us to figure out whether this flight is the right program for your needs, or if our other services will suit you better. If you are a fit for this cohort, we will assign you your own business coach who will talk in depth with you about your hopes, needs, and goals. If you are a fit for the cohort but you don't qualify for the full scholarship you can decide then if you want to pay out of pocket, or you can choose to have business advising only, which is always no-cost.

The Timeline

July 13, August 17, September 12: Information Sessions
September 25th (or soon after): Application Deadline
September/October: Participants have their first meeting with a business advisor (phone or in-person)
October 12: Program kicks off
December 5th: Program ends

The Program

This Tourism Business flight provides three benefits: 

  • Business Advising: participants are required to complete 10 or more hours of business advising. This is the most important part of any SBDC program--this is where you get individualized, confidential coaching from an experienced advisor. 
  • Team Building: there will be many opportunities for members of the cohort to share advice, cheer each other on, and provide feedback. Past participants tell us these relationships often last long past the end of the Flight program.
  • Workshops: Some workshops are required, and others are optional. See details below.

The Workshops

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • Workshop dates will be updated when our instructors confirm availability, but we try to set them well in advance so you can plan.
  • Workshop location is Prosperity Center Conference Room, 520 E Street, Eureka unless otherwise specified.
  • If you are accepted into the Flight but are not income eligible for the full scholarship, you can pick and choose the workshops you wish to participate in. Prices are indicated below.
  • The Required vs Optional Sessions below apply to full scholarship participants. Participants who are paying out of pocket can select the workshops they need and have the budget for.
  • You can take the Business Basics workshops whenever you like, however below is the recommended order/flow.

The required flight sessions are intensive learning experiences that run 3-4 hours each. They will be spaced far apart to give you time to plan.

  • Welcome, Goal-setting, Basics of Tourism Niches -- plan for success no matter where you're starting from (October 12th)
  • Permits, Regulations & Liability -- protect your business, your customers, and yourself (November 2)
  • Market Research, Strategy, Planning -- learn what the most successful businesses do to find and keep customers (tbd)
  • Rock Star Panel -- have an intimate conversation with a few of Humboldt's most successful tourism entrepreneurs (December 5th)

The business basics workshops can be taken in any order and on any date that fits your schedule. You are encouraged to start taking these before the flight begins.

Click on a date above to register for that workshop. (2 hours, $30)


Resources for Entrepreneurs |  Sep 21, 5:30 to 7:30pm
When and how to use debt, crowdfunding, and more. (2 hours, $100) Register now

Time and Money Management for New Entrepreneurs | October Date TBD
Define financial success today and in the long-term. Separate personal vs business finances. Attitude and myth-busting. Time is money; so manage both. (2.5 hours, $125) Registration link coming soon

Strategic eMarketing with Social Media | November Date TBD
Reach more buyers, use social media resources and time wisely. (2 hours, $100) Registration link coming soon

Photograpy for e-commerce | November Date TBD
Learn how to present and photograph your pieces for highest impact. Hands-on. Led by respected local professional photographer. (2 hours, $100) Registration link coming soon

Build your e-commerce web site | November TBD
Hands-on step by step workshop led by a seasoned web developer who likes to teach what he knows. You finish having built the first version of your own free Squarespace web site. Held at College of the Redwoods computer lab in Eureka. (4 hours, $200) Registration link coming soon

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the California Governors Office for Business and Economic Development, and other private and public partners;  and nationally accredited by the association of SBDCs.