By Bianca Barr, Penn State
The Penn State Small Business Development Center has received almost $100,000 in grant money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to open an outreach office in Philipsburg, Pa., to expand services in rural Centre County. Tom Williams, USDA Rural Development State Director, presented Heather Fennessey, director of the Penn State SBDC, with a check for $99,990 at the Moshannon Valley Regional Business Park in Philipsburg on Thursday, July 28.
During the next year, the grant will be used to provide consulting and business assistance to both existing and start-up businesses in rural Centre County. David Jordan, a business consultant with the SBDC, will serve as the primary business consultant in downtown Philipsburg. The SBDC plans to host a series of low-cost classes in the Philipsburg area for small business owners and entrepreneurs to help bring new ideas and jobs to western Centre County.
“The USDA’s commitment to helping rural small businesses is exemplary,” Fennessey said. “The SBDC will expand our effort to help small businesses in cooperation with other partners, such as the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, to assist in economic growth in the Philipsburg area.”
The new office is expected to open by fall of 2011.
Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is part of a nationwide network of more than 1,000 centers. The Penn State SBDC provides free business assistance to small firms and business start-ups in Centre and Mifflin counties, enabling them to compete and grow in today’s highly competitive global economy. Penn State SBDC is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.