The Small Business Development Center, a key resource for businesses during a pandemic

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa .– Since the onset of the pandemic, the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has provided more than 1,000 collective hours of counseling to small business owners facing supply chain disruptions, staffing, decreased revenue, and / or shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 347 entrepreneurs who requested pandemic-related support, 38 worked with the SBDC to access a combined 4.5 million capital through local, state and federal emergency funding initiatives.

To support small business recovery efforts, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provided additional funding to Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (PASBDC) through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, in late spring. 2020. Funds enabled Penn State SBDC to designate a full-time staff member to support small business takeovers in Center, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties.

Elizabeth Hay, whose expertise includes QuickBooks, employee management, compliance, accounting and bookkeeping, government contracting, bid and proposal writing, and security management, came into the role of Pandemic Support Specialist in May 2020. Hay works closely with Graduate Assistant Alice Liu, who supports the centre’s pandemic relief and recovery efforts.

With an ongoing need for pandemic relief and recovery support, SBDC business consultant John Peterson joined Hay and Liu in spring 2021. Services they offer include:

  • Educational programs: Briefings on resources and topics such as emergency loans and grant programs, business resilience and starting a new business.
  • Confidential and free advice: Assistance with loan applications, long-term planning, economic loss estimates, business preparation and more.
  • Access to capital: Support access to and demand for federal, state, and local loan and grant opportunities, including SBA, USDA, and other trade finance programs.
  • Risk mitigation strategies: Strategies to protect intellectual property and mitigate cyber threats such as scams, predatory lenders and other malicious actors.
  • Safety tips in the workplace: Information and tools to protect workplaces, employees and customers from potential health and safety threats.

The center has also created a Pandemic Support Resource page on its website to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with the most up-to-date information regarding emergency capital programs; national, state and local orientation; and business resilience resources.

Over the next few months, the Pandemic Support Team will continue to offer educational programs and advice to help businesses ensure business continuity during the pandemic. Upcoming events include:

  • Information session on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 29

During this hour-long briefing, Eastern Pennsylvania SBA District Office representatives Sonia Smith and Shannon Degiglio will share details regarding Restaurant Revitalization Fund eligibility, authorized use of funds, application process and timing, impact on funding of other SBA relief programs, required documentation and additional resources for assistance. Register here.

  • Small Business Financing Opportunities: An Expert Discussion, 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 4

Panel of experts from US Small Business Administration, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA, M&T Bank and SEDA-COG to provide business owners with updates on pandemic financing and details on options available at federal, state and local levels. . In addition, they will provide advice on commercial lending and information on grants and insider loans and discuss special financing for specific industries. Register here.

To connect with a member of the Penn State SBDC Pandemic Support Team, sign up for free, confidential business advice.

SBDCs are hosted by leading universities, colleges, national economic development agencies, and private partners, and funded in part by the United States Congress through a partnership with the State Small Business Administration. -United. There are nearly 1,000 local centers available to provide free business advice and low cost training to new and existing businesses. Penn State SBDC Services Center, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties in central Pennsylvania.

About the Penn State SBDC

Financial support and resources are provided under a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration; by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development; and in part with support from Penn State and with assistance from Lock Haven University. All services are offered to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been banned or suspended by the federal government.

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