Utah State University was recently selected by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to host the Utah Small Business Development Center (USBDC) Network. The new lead center will be located at the USU campus in Logan through USU Extension and will include regional service centers throughout Utah. The USU agreement with SBA takes effect on April 1, 2016, and will be renewed annually.
USBDCs provide business owners with advising, mentoring and training to help launch and grow their businesses. The USBDC currently hosts 15 centers located at colleges and universities around the state. The USBDC has been hosted by Salt Lake Community College for the past 20 years and by the University of Utah for 15 years prior to that.
Marion Bentley, director of the USU Extension Business and Economic Development Center, Extension specialist in the Department of Applied Economics and project director for the new USU-hosted program, said USU is the perfect fit to host the network since USU already has SBDCs at central campuses in Logan and Price and at regional campuses in Brigham City, Tooele, Vernal, Blanding and Moab.
“We are well equipped for this opportunity and are excited that we will now get to work even more closely with the SBA and Governor’s Office of Economic Development partners and our sister colleges and universities throughout the state,” Bentley said. “Our goal is to help Utah entrepreneurs and businesses be successful, to help strengthen our economy and to provide jobs and employment for Utah citizens.”
Bentley is currently assisted by Jason Yerka and Mark Holmes, directors of SBDC Service Centers in Logan and Vernal respectively.
USU will now begin a search to recruit a state director who will manage the USBDC programs and services while working closely through the transition with the service centers and staff members throughout the state.
Steve Price, deputy district director for the SBA Utah District Office said having the USBDC at USU will mean more economic development for the state.
“I am thrilled that the Small Business Development Center has a home at Utah State University where its staff members will be able to continue their work of helping Utah’s entrepreneurs and small businesses,” he said. “Through programs such as this one, the SBDC is providing key support to local companies to ensure they are sustainable and will continue to grow our economy.”
The SBDC Program is the largest government-funded small business management and technical assistance program in the United States. The SBDC program currently includes 63 lead centers and more than 900 service delivery points throughout the United State and its territories.
Writer: Julene Reese, firstname.lastname@example.org, 435-797-0810
Contact: Marion Bentley, email@example.com, 435-797-2284
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