Small Business center impacts the Wiregrass and beyond

TROY's Small Business Development Center helped created 235 new jobs and 17 new businesses in the Wiregrass last year.

TROY's Small Business Development Center helped created 235 new jobs and 17 new businesses in the Wiregrass last year.

Troy University’s Small Business Development Center is making a lasting impression in its 10-county service area and will celebrate its successes with three seminars.

In 2017 alone, it helped create 235 new jobs and 17 new businesses in the area largely defined as “the Wiregrass.” SBDC clients acquired government contracts of almost $60 million and accessed more than $2.4 million in investment capital. SBDC staff spend 1,248 hours in one-on-one advising with business owners.

“It was a busy year for us, and it was a great year for our clients,” said Judy Callin, a senior consultant in the TROY SBDC. “We were able to provide emerging and established businesses with access to the expertise and resources they need to be successful.”

Nationwide, America’s Small Business Development Centers clients created almost 100,000 new jobs and earned $6.4 billion in sales that translate into $252 million in federal revenue and $324 million in new state revenues.

In Alabama, the TROY Center is one of 10 in the state that provides training and consultation support to small businesses, 34 percent of whom are women, 29 percent veterans and service-connected disabled veterans, and 31 percent minorities.

“We are celebrating the success of clients this month by offering learning opportunities,” Callin said.

On March 20, the TROY SBDC has teamed with BancorpSouth to offer its Small Business Lender’s Panel in Greenville. The seminar offers small business owners an introduction to both traditional and nontraditional sources of financing. The registration for hour-and-a-half long seminar opens at 11:30 a.m. at the Greenville-Butler Co. Public Library at 309 Ft. Dale St.

On March 21, the Center will introduce its services in a Dothan “lunch-and-learn” session from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in The Turner Room at Woodall’s at 412 N. Foster St. The session focuses on the services and resources available to area businesses, and the event is co-sponsored by the Dothan Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

The three-day tour ends on March 22 in Troy with the Center’s seminar “Doing Business with Fort Rucker” from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the Troy Airport Training Center at 301 Airport Road. So far in FY 2018, Fort Rucker has obligated $29.9 million – nearly half of which has gone to small businesses. Fort Rucker chief of business operations Chris Martin will discuss requirements, the awards process and the Government Purchase Card Program. The program is co-sponsored by TROY SBDC, Fort Rucker Contracting Office and the Troy-Pike County Chamber of Commerce.

Mayors from each city are expected to be on hand at the events to proclaim the day SBDC Day in their city.

For more information or to register for the events, call Callin or Betsy Baker at 334-674-2425.