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Jefferson Community College Small Business Development Center Selected 2010 National Center of the Year

The SBDC center, administered by the University at Albany's NY State SBDC, receives award for service and results

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



ALBANY, N.Y. (April 14, 2010) -- The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Jefferson Community College (JCC) has been named the top center in the nation, earning the Small Business Administration's Service Excellence and Innovation Award. The award will be presented to Center Director F. Eric Constance by U.S. Small Business Administration officials during National Small Business Week activities in Washington, D.C., May 23 to 25.

The center provides counseling for small-business owners, organizes training and workshops on a variety of topics and provides business research to help businesses make decisions. The center has five business counselors at JCC and two at SUNY Oswego.

The Jefferson center was chosen from some 1,000 national locations eligible for consideration. The Watertown-based center won at the district and regional levels before winning the national title.

"I was extremely pleased," said Center Director F. Eric Constance.  " A key part of our success is that we have a very good staff. I just put the lead out there and they'll do what they need to do to get it done."

The center submitted statistical information including the number of clients assisted, new businesses started by clients and jobs created by clients during the last six years, along with cumulative statistics for service delivery since the center started in 1986. In addition, the center provided a narrative describing innovative projects and activities.The center has assisted 14,646 clients who invested $191,564,053 in their businesses and created or retained 6,953 jobs. In 2009, the center had 855 new clients, trained 1,143, helped with 145 business startups and saw $10.3 million in business investment. The center has been involved in a wide range of projects that include working with dairy profit teams in two counties, partnering with the New York Farm Viability Institute, and Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corporation.

The center also conducts an outreach program to members of the armed services and veterans at nearby Fort Drum. The center’s business advisors regularly participate in Transition Assistance Program workshops for individuals that are retiring or separating from the Army. In addition, they provide counseling, training and mentoring for the Wounded Warriors Unit.

In addition, the center holds an annual "The Business of Women" workshop, co-sponsors an annual Entrepreneurship Day for high school students, and routinely hosts Selling to the Government and Matchmaking events to help local companies obtain Fort Drum and government contracts.

“This is truly a significant honor for the Jefferson Center as well as the NYS SBDC,” said James King, state director. “This is a tribute to Eric, his staff and JCC for their dedication and commitment to improving Jefferson County and surrounding service areas. All of us within the Statewide SBDC program wish to thank the team there at JCC for bringing this recognition to New York.”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) supports programs that assist with small-business lending, such as loan guarantees for banks.

"The centers are extremely important to us at SBA," said Bernard J. Paprocki, director of SBA’s Syracuse District. "They are our first line of hands-on counseling and training for businesses in the district and throughout the state."

It's the first time since Paprocki took the reins as district director in 1991 that the 34-county district has had a national award winner. The district hosts nine centers.

"We have a very good SBDC network in the state of New York," said Paprocki. "The Jefferson center has been thinking outside the box with the types of programs and online training it offers to adjust to small businesses and different schedules."

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 312,500 New Yorkers. The SBDC also provides training and business research to existing business owners and entrepreneurs. SBDC clients have invested more than $4 billion in NY, impacting more than 141,600 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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