Small Business Development Centers Provide Solutions in Tough Times

By Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski)

Those operating small businesses today have seen some exciting and challenging changes in the marketplace that influence the way people live and do business. From the internet to e-mail to blackberries and globalization, the business landscape is ever-changing and entrepreneurs must adapt quickly or be driven out by the competition. To help residents stay in business or to help people start a new business, the state operates Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) where people can tap into educational or financial resources for free. Through 24 campus-based regional centers, and 29 outreach offices, the SBDC utilizes academia, private sector, and government to solve business problems and foster entrepreneurship.

Since its start in 1984, SBDC have worked directly with 296,349 businesses, helping them in turn to invest almost $4 billion in the state’s economy. Those same businesses have created or saved 137,673 jobs. Success stories, which can be found on their web site at www.nyssbdc.org, range from machine manufacturers to daycare facilities.

Business advisors provide entrepreneurs with counseling and training at each center. What’s especially helpful for anyone visiting the center is counselors have access to a research network, which provides economic, demographic and regulatory data for businesses, which is also free. Centers also work closely with New York State economic development agencies, faculty and students at host institutions, and representatives from private industry and business. The NYS SBDC is administered by State University of New York and funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, and host campuses. Centers will counsel or train everyone but emphasizes training women, veterans, people with special needs, and minority clients. The SBDC also assists job developers who are interested or want to expand as manufacturers, exporters and technology-oriented firms.

Technical assistance includes: business plan development or redesign; accounting; exporting for small business; marketing; financial planning; cost-analysis; workshops and seminars; legal business structures; construction management; loan packaging; management reorganization; Internet commerce; entering international markets and; employee management.

Nearby Central New York Small Business Development Centers are located at Onondaga County Community College, Oswego State University and the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. Below is where residents can obtain information or assistance:
· Oswego State University, 315-312-5696, 103 Rich Hall, Oswego, NY 13126-3599.
· OCC North Campus Satellite Office, 315-498-6070 (by appointment only), 8015 Oswego Road, Liverpool, NY 13090-1699.
· Onondaga Community College, SBDC, 315-498-6070, Ralph and Fay Whitney Applied Technology Center, Suite W206, 4941 Onondaga Road, Syracuse, NY 13215, email [email protected]
· Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, 315-498-6070 (by appointment only), 572 South Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13202.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.