Kutz­town Univer­sity se­lected as new site for PA-SBDC Lead Of­fice

The Southern Berks News - - LOCAL NEWS -

Kutz­town Univer­sity re­ceived a $4.9 mil­lion grant from the U.S. Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion to serve as the new site of the Penn­syl­va­nia Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cen­ter (PA-SBDC) Lead Of­fice, ef­fec­tive July 1.

The PA-SBDC Lead Of­fice is re­spon­si­ble for the fi­nan­cial and pro­gram­matic over­sight of the statewide SBDC net­work. It has been head­quar­tered at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia’s Whar­ton School for 37 years. KU, un­der the di­rec­tion of its SBDC direc­tor Ernie Post, com­peted with other pres­ti­gious univer­si­ties to earn the new lead des­ig­na­tion.

“I am pleased to an­nounce that Penn­syl­va­nia’s small busi­ness own­ers and en­trepreneurs will have ac­cess to valu­able re­sources through a new part­ner­ship be­tween the U.S. Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion (SBA) and Kutz­town Univer­sity, which will now host the Penn­syl­va­nia Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cen­ters pro­gram,” said Allen Gu­tier­rez, as­so­ciate ad­min­is­tra­tor of SBA’s Of­fice of En­trepreneurial Devel­op­ment. “Kutz­town Univer­sity joins 62 other Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cen­ters host or­ga­ni­za­tions na­tion­wide that op­er­ate nearly 1,000 lo­cal cen­ters, pro­vid­ing vi­tal busi­ness coun­sel­ing and train­ing to the lo­cal small busi­ness com­mu­nity. I look for­ward to a long and suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship with Kutz­town Univer­sity as we help en­trepreneurs start and grow their busi­nesses.”

“It’s won­der­ful to see the com­mit­ment of stel­lar Penn­syl­va­nia univer­si­ties, like Kutz­town Univer­sity SBDC and lead­ers like Ernie, to as­sist­ing small busi­nesses,” said An­to­nio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Penn­syl­va­nia direc­tor. “SBA funds re­source part­ners, in­clud­ing the SBDC net­work, to help small busi­nesses with ev­ery­thing from draft­ing busi­ness plans to com­plex man­age­ment prin­ci­ples. SBA’s re­source part­ners, in­clud­ing the newly cho­sen Lead Cen­ter at Kutz­town SBDC, have a lot to be proud of for the help they pro­vide small busi­nesses.”

“Kutz­town Univer­sity is truly proud and hon­ored to be the new home of the Penn­syl­va­nia Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cen­ter Lead Of­fice,” said Dr. Anne Zayaitz, KU provost and vice pres­i­dent for aca­demic af­fairs, “This en­deavor bet­ter po­si­tions our univer­sity as a leader in the State Sys­tem for eco­nomic devel­op­ment.”

With 18 col­lege- and univer­sity-based cen­ters and more than 90 out­reach cen­ters lo­cated through­out the state of Penn­syl­va­nia, the PA-SBDCs pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion and no-cost con­sult­ing ser­vices to en­trepreneurs and small busi­ness own­ers.

The SBDC’s one-on-one man­age­ment con­sult­ing em­pha­sizes ed­u­ca­tion and guid­ance in find­ing prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to busi­ness prob­lems. Con­sult­ing is con­fi­den­tial and pro­vided at no-charge by a staff of skilled pro­fes­sion­als.

Small busi­nesses pro­vide 55 per­cent of all jobs and 66 per­cent of all net new jobs. In the U.S., ex­ist­ing small busi­nesses com­prise 99 per­cent of all em­ployer firms, em­ploy nearly half of the work­force, and ac­count for more than 60 per­cent of the pri­vate sec­tor’s net new jobs.

“Hav­ing our SBDC serve as the lead of­fice for Penn­syl­va­nia will be ben­e­fi­cial for our univer­sity, our col­lege and our stu­dents,” said Dr. Anne Car­roll, dean of KU’s Col­lege of Busi­ness. “The KU SBDC has been highly ef­fec­tive through the years, and there is no doubt that qual­ity will carry over to the lead of­fice.”

KU’s SBDC has a long his­tory of man­ag­ing suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurial devel­op­ment pro­grams, host­ing the largest funded cen­ter in the PA-SBDC net­work since it ac­quired the re­gional ter­ri­tory from Penn State in 1993. Since then, the KU SBDC has grown to be rec­og­nized as a leader in the coun­try for in­no­va­tion, high-qual­ity ser­vice, and out­reach to un­der­served pop­u­la­tions. The KU SBDC cen­ter has been rec­og­nized within the net­work as a leader. The cen­ter has al­ways met and sur­passed its cap­i­tal for­ma­tion, long-term clients, and busi­ness start goals. In ad­di­tion, the Penn­syl­va­nia State Sys­tem of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and KU have demon­strated a long-term com­mit­ment through their es­tab­lish­ment and fund­ing of 14 PASSHE En­trepreneur­ship Lead­er­ship Cen­ters (ELCs) that will serve as re­fer­ral sources to the PA-SBDC net­work and col­lab­o­ra­tors.

While the lead of­fice grant will fund the 18 re­gional cen­ters, the KU SBDC will ex­pe­ri­ence an in­crease in grad­u­ate as­sist­ant­ship and in­tern­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties for KU stu­dents from sev­eral ma­jors.

“We are ex­cited about this op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide lead­er­ship for one of the high­est per­form­ing SBDC pro­grams in the coun­try,” said Post. “The month of June will be an ex­tremely busy one for us as we work with our Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia team to make this tran­si­tion as seam­less as pos­si­ble for every­one.”

Kutz­town Small Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cen­ter is part of a state-wide net­work of col­leges and univer­sity cen­ters, which is a joint ven­ture of fed­eral, state, and pri­vate sec­tor agen­cies and or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the U.S. Small Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity & Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion on the PA-SBDC, visit http:// www.pas­bdc.org.

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