Clarion University Small Business Development Center Wins Two Top Honors

The staff of Clarion University Small Business Development Center: (back row, left to right) Lucy Ames, business consultant; Matt Sopher, information technology/business consultant; Amy Keth, business consultant; Corry Riley, business consultant; Nancy Weaver, fiscal technician; (front row) Cindy Nellis, assistant director; Dr. Kevin Roth, director; and Kate Hall, business consultant. (Provided photo)

CLARION – Clarion University Small Business Development Center recently received the 2010 Small Business Administration Award of Excellence in Training and the Award of Excellence in Capital Formation. These awards are based on a selection process by a committee of lenders from western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The awards are given annually to economic development partners that provide excellence in service to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region.

Carl Knoblock, district director for the Small Business Administration, presented the awards to the Clarion SBDC at the 2011 Quality Circle Conference in Seven Springs. Representatives from the national SBA office included Jess Knox, associate administrator of field operations, and Steve Smits, associate administrator of capital access. Accepting the awards on behalf of the Clarion University SBDC were SBDC director Kevin J. Roth and SBDC consultant Corry Riley.

In presenting the award, Knoblock, director of the Small Business Administration’s Pittsburgh District Office said, “It is always an honor to recognize our resource partners for the excellent work they are doing in the local communities. The awards are a way to say thank you for everything you do to help small businesses. Clarion University SBDC is showcasing its positive impact on small businesses and community.”
In 2010, the Clarion SBDC provided more than 8,000 hours of one-on-one consulting to 505 clients. The SBDC assisted 63 clients with securing financing for projects totaling over $18 million, and a total of 87 clients started businesses. In addition, the SBDC provided more than 6,000 hours of training to 1,425 individuals at 111 events.

“The Clarion SBDC has had a strong history of providing quality service to businesses and entrepreneurs in the region that has resulted in measurable economic impact,” Roth said. “This success and recognition can be attributed to the dedication and commitment that our consultants have demonstrated in fostering business development in our region. Our consultants deserve both the credit and recognition that these awards bring to Clarion University and the SBDC.”

The SBDC at Clarion University was created in 1980. It is one of 18 SBDCs in Pennsylvania and is an accredited affiliate of the National Network of Small Business Development Centers.

The mission of the SBDC is to help businesses start, grow and prosper by providing entrepreneurs with education, information and tools to create successful ventures. The Clarion University SBDC continues to focus on providing professional, high-quality business consulting services to fuel start-ups and expansions. The services provided include, but are not limited to, business planning, industry and market research, entrepreneurial education, financial analysis, environmental analysis, strategic planning and technology commercialization.

The Clarion University SBDC is located in the new Gregory Barnes Center for Biotechnology Business Development at Clarion University.

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