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Duquesne SBDC gets funding via CARES Act

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Here's how the money will be put to work to help small businesses deal with Covid-19 related challenges.

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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Latino Business Resource Center at Kutztown University SBDC Receives $50,000 Award from National Penn Bank

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The Kutztown University's Latino Business Resource Center (LBRC), a program within the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was awarded $50,000 by National Penn Bank  to continue and expand the center's assistance to Reading's Latino entrepreneurs.

LBRC Director Carolina Martinez stated in a recent Reading Eagle article, "This grant will help us continue our class for next semester and will also help us provide more consulting services for existing businesses." The LBRC's eight week venture planning course teaches students in a bilingual format how to create a business plan, start a business, increase profits, manage business finances and improve credit. Participants also receive a certificate upon graduation. The LBRC also provides services and consulting for Spanish speakers and Latinos who have existing businesses.

A 2011 survey conducted by the LBRC and National Penn concluded existing businesses located within a two mile stretch of Penn Avenue and Penn Street between City Park and Wyomissing needed help. "Businesses are showing that they need assistance in bookkeeping and marketing and the center would like to have more Web-based resources," said Sharon McMichael, Community Reinvestment Act Officer for National Penn. "It (the grant) is for outreach specifically to those Latino business that are operating and facing new obstacles."
 
By working closely with Latino and Latino-serving organizations, as well as regional economic development organizations, the LBRC has been able to make a significant impact in the Latino business community and earned the President's Award at the 27th Annual United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Convention and Business Expo. According to McMichael, the aim is to allow the center to help existing business reach the next level, and reinforces their commitment to investment in the city's growing Latino businesses.  

Reading Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer attended the grant presentation and praised the center's commitment to Reading's Latinos. Spencer presented an official commendation to Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, Kutztown University President, for his influence in establishing the center.  Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, Provost and Vice President for academic and student affairs at Kutztown University, commended the 6-year-old MBRC for having produced more than entrepreneur course graduates.