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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Pennsylvania SBDC Announces 2015 Award Recipients at Annual Small Business Growth Forum

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The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have honored four staff members and nine Centers for their commitment and contributions to small business during their 2015 Pennsylvania SBDC Small Business Growth Forum held in Cranberry Township last week.  The awards announced include:

SBA Nomination Award: Martin Brill, Kutztown University SBDC

This award is given to recognize successfully nominating a client for an SBA award; thus raising the profile of the Pennsylvania SBDC program.  Fleetwood’s Custom Milling & Consulting (CMC) was awarded by the SBA as Small Business Person of the Year for Eastern Pennsylvania and was nominated by Martin Brill of the Kutztown University SBDC.  In addition to winning in their respective Pennsylvania district, CMC also won at the SBA Region III level, beating out award nominations from the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia.

Targeted Service Award: Technology Team of the Pennsylvania SBDC

This award is given to recognize service to the entire network in a targeted service area.  Over the past few years, the Pennsylvania SBDC has made great strides in building its technology team and has established a great resource for the network to assist small businesses with all technology related matters.  As a result of the network’s 2015 accreditation review the Pennsylvania SBDC received supplemental accreditation for its technology commercialization services for the third time in a row and the technology team was the factor behind this supplemental accreditation.

Creative Funding Award: Penn State SBDC

The Penn State SBDC was given the Creative Funding award to recognize their success in new and creative ways to raise program funding.  The Center was successful in winning a competitive grant as part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program.  TechCelerator@State College received a $500,000 i6/Cluster Grant to help technologists explore entrepreneurship and commercialization pathways.

Capital Investment Award (Number of Investments): Rob Mineo, Lehigh University SBDC

Helping small businesses obtain financing is one of the core services provided by the SBDC.  This award is given to the SBDC business consultant with the highest number of client investments in the Pennsylvania SBDC network for the last full program year, which was 2014.  Rob Mineo of the Lehigh University SBDC secured 41 approved investments for his small business clients last year, making him this year’s award recipient.

Capital Investment Award (Dollar Amount of Investments): John Snyder, Gannon University SBDC

Helping companies secure capital investment is one of the core services provided by the SBDC.  This award is given to the SBDC business consultant with the largest total dollar amount of client investment in the Pennsylvania SBDC network for the last full program year.  John Snyder of the Gannon University SBDC recorded a total of more than $14 million dollars in capital with the businesses he served in 2014, making him the highest achieving capital consultant to win this award.

Center Performance Award: Penn State SBDC and The University of Scranton SBDC

This award is granted to the Center (or Centers) that demonstrated exceptional performance during the last full program year.  Metrics recorded for these minimum performance deliverables include hours spent working with small businesses, capital acquisition for small business clients, businesses started and purchased, business sales increases, jobs impacted, client support letters written, and client satisfaction.  Seven Centers in the network exceeded all seven of these minimum performance deliverables, but two Centers went above and beyond these metrics to win this award.  These Centers were the Penn State SBDC and The University of Scranton SBDC.

Happy Client Award: Multiple Centers

This award was given to the Centers that earned 100 percent for the client satisfaction metric as reported on the annual client questionnaire.  In 2014, seven Centers achieved a perfect score on this metric.  The awards were given to SBDCs at Bucknell University, Clarion University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven University, Shippensburg University, Saint Francis University and Saint Vincent College.  The annual client questionnaire is provided to all SBDC clients when they complete their engagement to measure impacts and outcomes of the program.

Service Award: Pat Boylan, Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office

Pat Boylan of the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office has been employed with the Pennsylvania SBDC network for 27 years serving as a critical link between the Centers and the Lead Office.  She has become the “go-to” person in the network to help with all administrative matters related to network operations and finance.  Her dedication, knowledge and friendly demeanor will be missed when she retires in 2016. 

The Pennsylvania SBDC annual Small Business Growth Forum hosts more than one hundred SBDC employees and representatives from economic development organizations from across the Commonwealth. This three day event provides opportunities for networking as well as professional development and features panel discussions led by expert speakers, seasoned SBDC consultants and industry professionals. 

Sponsors of the event included GrowthWheel, First Niagara, Focal Point Coaching Excellence, Riviera Finance, Computer Support Services, Northwest Bank, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, Flagship Business Plans & Consulting, Regional Development Funding Corporation, MEDFAS, and FranNet.