The Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council’s Center for Business Innovation, has launched ScaleUp, a new statewide program designed to help established small businesses grow.

The two classes, which are free to businesses during the pilot program stage, will target finances, operations, and marketing. Western Washington ScaleUp in Mount Vernon, co-hosted by the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, will run from May 23 to June 20. In Eastern Washington, the Yakima County Development Association class will run May 28 through June 25.

Patterned after the Thurston center’s program of the same name, the new statewide course series offers business owners 35 hours of classroom instruction over five weeks (one seven-hour class per week). The ideal candidate is a business owner whose company has been in operation for a year or more and has at least $75,000 in annual revenue.

“Washington’s entrepreneurial culture is a key economic driver, and small businesses are in many ways the backbone for growth,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We are pleased to have Thurston EDC’s support to model its innovative ScaleUp program for rollout in additional rural communities throughout the state, beginning with these trials in Mount Vernon and Yakima.”