Small Business Development Center Achieves Big Impact

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University in 2018 recorded the highest regional economic impact in the center’s history.

Last year, the center assisted with the creation of 30 businesses and 508 jobs, reports Patricia K. Veisz, the center’s director.

The Small Business Development Center, which has been at YSU for 32 years, provides business consulting and training, as well as international trade and export consulting through its Export Assistance Network.

The center works jointly with YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration and the WCBA Center of Excellence in International Business.

In 2018, the center’s efforts contributed to $17.7 million in capital investment and loans. Its work also resulted in sales growth of $99.2 million among its clients, including $85.4 million in export sales growth. And the center secured 44 Image grants totaling $213,525 awarded to exporting clients, according to Veisz.

The SBDC and Export Assistance Network provide a high-impact program designed to facilitate business growth, job creation and access to capital, as demonstrated by its focus on providing assistance to the small to mid-sized growing business segment of the market, she says.

Services provided include project viability analysis, domestic and international market research, financial forecasting and analysis, and loan proposal assistance, along with several export-related services.

With three full-time employees and four contracted consultants, the program has grown through “innovative services and a network of numerous partnerships, and by its ability to leverage the resources of WCBA students and faculty,” Veisz says.

This past year, the center also employed 12 interns from the Williamson College and three graduate assistants and engaged 101 additional students in 15 client/class projects involving six business professors.

The efforts of the SBDC at YSU have been recognized at the state level. Moussa Kassis was named best performing export assistance director and Jason Heyman was recognized as best performing business adviser.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.