PHILIPSBURG – The Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has announced a grand opening celebration for 10 a.m. Friday, March 9 for its Philipsburg Outreach Office that’s located at 203 North Front St.
Trained staff will provide consulting and assistance to existing businesses that are giving consideration to improvement and or expansion. In addition, services are offered to anyone thinking about starting-up businesses in rural Centre County, said Heather Fennessey, director of the Penn State SBDC.
According to her, the staff specifically helps their clients with developing marketing plans, understanding cash flow, human resource issues and the lifestyle of a small business owner. She said they’ll be an “educational resource” that is free and confidential.
She said the staff will help current business owners identify and obtain new funding resources and financial packages. She said the SBDC plays an important role within communities, because its staff reviews the ideas of prospective entrepreneurs as well as the practices of existing businesses.
“We’re an unbiased, educational resource for our clients. We present them with unbiased facts,” said Fennessey. At the Penn State office, she said approximately half of all new clients venture into the local entrepreneurial world with the remaining half opting out.
Fennessey said many return to brainstorming and considering alternative ideas, and some simply “stick with their day job.” She said the SBDC staff helps them think through the process, adding that last year they helped 52 new businesses in Centre and Mifflin counties alone.
“Job creation and business creation have value, but you don’t want to be starting-up a business without fully thinking it through,” she said. She said the Philipsburg office will conduct The First Step of Starting a Business Seminar once a quarter and others as requested with the first being set for the morning of March 8.
Fennessey said the seminars are free group forums that help entrepreneurs develop business plans and financial strategies while presenting the early steps of starting-up businesses, such as filing for fictitious business names maintaining accounting and other business-related records.
“We’ll go over a whole bunch of stuff in three hours. All the things to think about, and what they can do today to get started,” she said.
The Philipsburg office will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays through Fridays by appointment. It is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“USDA’s funding will help us to assist small businesses and potential small businesses in the Philipsburg area,” said Fennessey. “The SBDC is expanding its effort to help small businesses and assist in economic growth in the Philipsburg area while leveraging Penn State resources, such as students who are interested in helping entrepreneurs.”
State Rep. Scott Conklin and other local dignitaries have plans to join Fennessey for Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. For more information, please call the Philipsburg Outreach Office at 814-343-6239.
Penn State’s 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 the present-day’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 115 countries worldwide.