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Saint Francis University SBDC Names Barry Surma Director

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Barry Surma of Gallitzin, Pa. has been named director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Saint Francis University. Surma has more than 30 years of experience in economic development, most recently at the Altoona-Blair County Development (ABCD) Corp. Surma joined ABCD Corp. in 1994 as the Manager of…

Kutztown University SBDC Client Zeigler Showcases at America’s SBDC Reception in Washington DC

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Ziegler, a longtime client of the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was one of only ten featured companies to exhibit at the America’s SBDC Client Showcase & Reception held this month in Washington DC.  The event was part of the America’s SBDC Spring Meeting that coincides with its…

Duquesne University SBDC Announces Eat’n Park President as Keynote Speaker for 18th Annual Entrepreneur’s Growth and Networking Conference

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Registration is now open for the 18th Annual Entrepreneur’s Growth and Networking Conference (EGC), hosted by the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The conference will be held on June 2, 2016 at Duquesne University. This year’s keynote speaker is Jeff Broadhurst, President of Eat’n Park Restaurants and CEO of…

Streamlining Government to Help Small Businesses

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Last Friday President Obama proposed several initiatives to help streamline the ways that America’s businesses can work with the government. His proposal includes two main elements:

  1. Elevate the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator position, currently held by Karen Mills, to the President’s Cabinet.

  2. Merge five agencies into a single agency focused on helping the private sector: the SBA, the United States Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade and Development Agency, plus the business and trade functions of the Commerce Department.

According to the White House, the plan would save about $3 billion over 10 years and cut about 1,000 to 2,000 jobs, in addition to eliminating the Commerce Department. Along with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the SBA is one of the main funding agencies of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).

While the plan has yet to be approved, it is potentially significant for the entrepreneurs and small business owners the Pennsylvania SBDC serve. It ensures that there is a powerful economic agency at the Federal level where small businesses would be a strong focus. There would be more coordination between the SBDC and the partners we work with to provide services to small businesses. It also helps to modernize the government's structure to better  maximize services for the American people.

In his weekly address, President Obama noted the importance of the plan to entrepreneurs:

"These changes will make it easier for small business owners to get the loans and support they need to sell their products around the world."

Read more at  The New York Times and the Huffington Post.