Submitted by Brad Bapst
The Ohio State University South Centers Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides business counseling and training to a 10-county region in Southern Ohio. Primary services the SBDC provides include business planning, financial packaging and lending, marketing assistance, and goods and services exporting to other countries. The Center utilizes a unified delivery model to incorporate resources from other programs affiliated with The Ohio State University South Centers, including the Ohio Cooperative Development Center, Direct Marketing, and OSU Extension programs to strengthen service offerings.
SBDCs offer no-cost, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising, low-cost training, and other specialized services. The SBDC program is one of our nation’s largest small business assistance programs within the Federal government, made up of a unique mix of SBA Federal funds, state and local governments, and private sector resources. SBDCs are often hosted by leading universities and state economic development agencies, and are funded in part through a partnership with the Small Business Administration.
The Small Business Development Center at OSU South Centers had a very successful year providing business consulting to existing and start-up small businesses in Southern Ohio. During fiscal year 2018, the SBDC at OSU South Centers provided the following assistance:
• Provided consulting to 334 clients, of which 229 received five or more hours of consulting
• Assisted with starting 25 businesses
• Helped clients obtain $10,214,900 in capital
• Logged 4,323 consulting hours
• Held 19 training events with 344 attendees
• SBDC Clients created 106 new jobs and retained 532 jobs
• Recorded $4,944,400 in general sales growth for clients
The staff at OSU South Centers SBDC continues to engage community organizations to maintain awareness of changing needs of entrepreneurs in the region and develop solutions to combat any negative impact to the economy. Counselors volunteered time to serve as board members on several chambers of commerce, on a regional board established to support economic development, and as members of advisory boards for business organizations to increase awareness of business issues and identify solutions to problems.
The SBDC continues to work with the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation in assisting area farmers interested in applying for the Ag Development Grant and the Young Farmer Grant programs. This is a program where our SBDC counselors work closely with area farmers to write business plans for projects that will be submitted to SOACDF for potential grant funding to assist with their project. This year, we assisted 33 individuals explore, complete, and submit applications for these programs. You can see details and deadlines about the program at soacdf.net.