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Small Business Development Center Establishes Champlain Bridge Business Assistance Center

The center will open Feb. 18, 10:30 a.m., 3259 Broad Street in Port Henry, N.Y.

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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Champlain Bridge

The Champlain Bridge was demolished in Dec. 2009, cutting off a vital connection between Upstate New York and Vermont. Construction of a new bridge is expected to be complete in late summer 2011.

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 16, 2010) -- The Albany regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an affiliate of the University at Albany's School of Business, is establishing the Champlain Bridge Business Assistance Center, an "emergency outreach office" to assist small businesses that have been adversely affected by the closing and demolition of the Champlain Bridge. The Center will be opened Feb. 18, 10:30 a.m., 3259 Broad Street in Port Henry, N.Y. 

The bridge, which crossed Lake Champlain between Crown Point, N.Y. and Chimney Point, Vt., was demolished in Dec. 2009, cutting off a vital connection. Construction of a new bridge is expected to be complete in late summer 2011.

The Champlain Bridge Business Assistance Center will help interested business owners plan how to transition and maintain the viability of their businesses during construction of the new bridge. The SBDC, along with strategic partners, will offer assistance to dislocated workers who cannot afford the long commute around Lake Champlain to jobs in Vermont and may be interested in starting a business. The Albany SBDC is collaborating with the North Country SBDC located at SUNY Plattsburgh to provide staff for the counseling and outreach efforts.

"The Champlain Bridge Business Assistance Center will be yet another invaluable resource to the North Country businesses deeply affected by the bridge closure," Governor David A. Paterson said. "In addition to helping current or potential business owners plan for the future, SBDC will also help businesses apply for aid through the Champlain Bridge Economic Assistance Program. We will continue to work hand in hand with our local partners in the North Country to ensure businesses are getting the assistance they need in order to move toward sustainable economic recovery in this corridor."

"UAlbany's Small Business Development Center is reaching beyond traditional engagement with the community," said UAlbany President George M. Philip. "It is important to help business owners in the Crown Point region adapt to and overcome these challenging circumstances, and to utilize the existing knowledge base and resources in that effort."

"The Plattsburgh State SBDC has been serving small businesses in the North Country for over twenty-five years.  We are pleased to partner with the University at Albany to bring assistance to business owners affected by the loss of the Champlain Bridge," said SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling.

Services offered will include assessment of impact, identification of NYS Champlain Bridge Relief Programs, application assistance for these programs, market research, cost analysis/financial management, identifying sources of capital and business growth strategies. 

The Small Business Development Center has been providing no-cost assistance to small businesses in New York State since 1984. The staff consists of dedicated small business advisors who take a personal interest in making businesses successful. SBDC advisors have worked with all types and sizes of businesses, from the home-based business to large manufacturing enterprises and high-tech start-ups.

The SBDC program is funded through the Small Business Administration, New York State, and the State University of New York. 

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