Excellence and Innovation: YSU SBDC earns national honor

WIlliamson College of Business News

The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University, which last year helped area businesses generate nearly $100 million in sales, has been selected to receive the national SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBDC at YSU was selected from among the nearly 1,000 SBDCs across the country. The award honors an SBDC for excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation.

“Our SBDC exemplifies our commitment to impact, engagement and innovation,” said Betty Jo Licata, dean of the YSU Williamson College of Business Administration at YSU. “Its programs and services support the economic growth of businesses in our region and create unique educational experiences for our students. We are incredibly proud of this important national recognition.”

The YSU SBDC is a comprehensive business assistance network designed to provide entrepreneurial development assistance, training programs and high-end business consulting to existing businesses and start-up ventures. In Ohio, the SBDC program is a partnership of the Ohio Department of Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Locally, the SBDC is hosted by YSU and the Williamson College of Business Administration and serves counties in Northeast Ohio.

In 2018, the SBDC office provided 7,035 hours of counseling to 336 clients. The work helped area businesses generate approximately $99.20 million in sales, including $85.4 million in export sales growth, create 508 jobs, retain 1,673 jobs, and create 30 new local business starts. In addition, the SBDC assisted businesses with obtaining $17.74 million in capital through investments and loans. The SBDC was also recognized with six state awards for its economic development efforts.

Over the years, the SBDC at YSU has been instrumental in the acquisition and development of numerous business programs, including the Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network at YSU and its implementation of the Ohio Export Internship Program, to assist companies with exporting. The honor comes in advance of Small Business Week, May 5 through 11. On May 5, YSU SBDC director Patricia Veisz will accept the award in Washington, D.C.