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SUNY SBDC Awarded Small Business Sustainability Grant

UAlbany-based center  partners with State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to promote small business energy conservation

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



ALBANY, N.Y. (January 9, 2009) -- The State University of New York's State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the state's leading provider of small business management and technical services, has been awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration's Small Business Sustainability Initiative Grant to help small businesses plan for efficient and cost-effective energy use.

In announcing the award, the US SBA said, "The New York State SBDC and its partner organizations plan to coordinate their resources to provide energy audits for small businesses with substantial energy consumption.  They also will educate small business owners to help them identify energy savings and make 'efficient energy' decisions. The SBDC and its partners will advise small business owners about energy opportunities relating to green buildings, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and improved environmental performance."

The sustainability grant is one of only four (4) awarded nationally by the US SBA to pilot targeted outreach to the small business community.

The Sustainability Program is a specialized initiative of the SBA providing grant-funded service delivery network providing quality customer service to the small business community. The program creates a broad-based system of assistance for the small business community by linking the resources of federal, state and local governments with the resources of the educational community and the private sector.

The SBDC, based at the University at Albany, will assist small business owners by conducting training and educational activities directly related to energy efficiency and provide access to information and resources on energy efficiency practices. The award will allow the NYSSBDC to promote small business energy conservation in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as well as its host higher education institutions.

NYSERDA will contribute engineers to conduct energy audits of small businesses that are identified and referred by the SBDC. The audits will identify energy-efficiency strategies and improvements that yield energy savings. The SBDC will use the SBA Sustainability Grant award to have Business Advisors from the SBDC program assist small business owners to implement the recommendations of the engineers by accessing capital and building the business case and improve the overall energy efficiency of the participating firms.

In addition, the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), a lending consortium made up of 135 banks doing business in New York State, will make financing available to those small business owners participating in the NYSERDA audits that have viable business opportunities in order to assist in implementing energy saving investments. NYBDC is one of the largest and most experienced SBA lenders in the state for developing innovative financial solutions for programs such as this.

"The recent spike in energy costs help make this project very timely for most small businesses," said NYSSBDC State Director Jim King. "We're enthusiastic about the potential to identify and work with small businesses throughout New York State, and to work with NYSERDA and NYBDC to help implement changes in business operations that will save energy while helping the environment through reduced emissions and cutting back on imported oil. This simply makes good sense for the business and the State."

"Implementation of energy efficiency strategies will lower energy costs, preserve our environment, and improve the bottom line for small business owners," said Robert G. Callender, NYSERDA vice president for programs. "This work by the New York State Small Business Development Center will improve conditions for small business growth while addressing Governor David Paterson's goal of reducing electric consumption by 15 percent from forecasted levels by 2015."

"NYBDC is committed to providing unique financing for businesses in the energy efficiency and green business sectors," said NYBDC President and CEO Patrick MacKrell. "We look forward to working with the energy projects identified through this program and partnering with the SBDC to accomplish these energy related goals."

About the SUNY SBDC
The SBDC, administered by the University at Albany, the largest unit of the State University (SUNY), has 24 regional service centers located throughout the New York State on SUNY, City University of New York (CUNY) and private university campuses. Since inception in 1984, the SBDC has provided small business advisement services to more than 279,000 New Yorkers. The SBDC also provides training and business research to existing business owners and entrepreneurs. SBDC clients have invested over $3.6 billion in N.Y., impacting 131,000 jobs.

The SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, local communities and host campuses. As a result of this leveraged support, the SBDC staff provides confidential one-on-one business advisement services at no direct cost to the citizens and entrepreneurs of New York.


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