September 6, 2016
16-230

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

UGA Small Business Development Center Named a Best Place to Work

VALDOSTA — Georgia Trend has named the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center a 2016 Best Place to Work in Georgia.

Headquartered in Athens, the UGA Small Business Development Center is a partnership between the University of Georgia, Valdosta State University, the University of West Georgia, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, Clayton State University, and Kennesaw State University. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the United States Small Business Administration, boasts 17 offices across the state, and strives to enhance the economic well-being of Georgians by providing a wide range of educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, including no-cost, confidential consulting services.

“Working for the Small Business Development Center allows us to fill the mission of service to others,” said Lynn Bennett, area director of the UGA Small Business Development Center at VSU. “Words cannot describe the feeling you get when you know you have truly helped a small business owner solve an issue with their business. It is about building relationships where they know they can trust their Small Business Development Center consultant to give them good solid advice.”

The UGA Small Business Development Center at VSU provides tools, training, and resources to help small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in Atkinson, Berrien, Brooks, Clinch, Coffee, Cook, Echols, Lanier, Lowndes, and Thomas counties succeed. It is considered an essential resource for small businesses in South Georgia, one committed to fostering the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of men and women interested in starting, running, and growing their own business.

“This is a very meaningful award,” shared Dr. L. Wayne Plumly Jr., dean of the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration and a professor of economics at VSU. “Our Small Business Development Center staff makes a major impact on our community.”

In the last five years, UGA Small Business Development Center at VSU consultants have worked with 634 rural clients, assisted in starting 64 new small businesses, and helped 91 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs gain access to capital totaling $45,529,350.

The UGA Small Business Development Center at VSU expects to serve an additional 200-plus clients before the end of this year. In just a little more than eight months, its staff has already assisted with 18 business starts and helped 26 clients gain access to more than $5 million in loans and equity financing. 

“One of the most important things we do for the community is offer continuing business education courses,” Bennett said. “This year we will have a total of 10 programs that have reached more than 150 participants. We could not accomplish this great task without the continuous support of Guardian Bank, which has been instrumental in partnering with the Small Business Development Center to promote business education in our area and help business owners gain the skills the knowledge needed to make their businesses successful. Guardian Bank continues to invest in our community to make our local economy strong.”

“We value all of our resource partners, including the Small Business Administration and the University of Georgia, as well as area Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Authorities, for their continuing support of our mission and dedication to helping us reach small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs,” she continued. “We would especially like to thank our host institution — Valdosta State University — and the Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration for their continuous support of the Small Business Development Center and for helping us make our community a better place to live and work.”

Contact Lynn Bennett at lgbennett@valdosta.edu or (229) 245-3738 for more information.

On the Web:

http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/business/small-business-development-center/

https://www.georgiasbdc.org

 

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