USM Small Business Development Center Helps in Pine Belt Job Creation

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - This is a press release from the University of Southern Mississippi.

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Small Business Development Center has helped businesses in the region create and/or retain more than 175 jobs since October of last year.

During that span, the SBDC has also supported business owners in generating $3.2 million in capital formation, while helping educate hundreds of others in the steps to start a business.

“This is outreach by USM at its finest,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, dean of the College of Business at Southern Miss. “In addition to community and civic engagement, the University has a profound effect on the economic health of our entire region.”

The USM SBDC is a partnership between the state SBDC office at the University of Mississippi, the Small Business Administration, the Trent Lott National Center, and the College of Business.

As of mid-September, the SBDC has conducted 35 training events with an average attendance of 18 aspiring or current business owners. Other significant figures include:

  • 167 clients counseled

  • 21 businesses started

  • 117 jobs created

  • 58 Jobs retained

  • 24 loans submitted

  • 21 loans obtained

  • $ 3,239,800 of Pine Belt capital formation

“Equally as important as the numbers produced are the SBDC’s services, which have helped some people decide to postpone opening a business until they could have all the necessary pieces in place to enhance its chance of success,” said Gilbert. “The College of Business at the University of Southern Mississippi is a proud partner of this collaborative service and of its impact on the Pine Belt.”

The SBDC, which opened in January, 2015 at USM’s Trent Lott Center, is designed to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with education and training opportunities for development of business plans and concepts. In addition, trained professionals at the center help clients secure small business loans for their ventures.

The University created its Small Business Development Center through a partnership with the Small Business Administration, the Mississippi Small Business Development Center Network, the University of Mississippi, the Trent Lott National Center, and the College of Business at USM. The MSBDC includes nine basic service centers throughout the state.

The USM Small Business Development Center offers, at no cost to clients, the following services:

  • In-depth counseling assistance to ensure more successful startups of new enterprises and to strengthen existing firms.

  • Business plans and loan packaging assistance.

  • Small business workshops/seminars.

  • Assistance to minorities, women, veterans, the handicapped, exporters, inventors, research and innovation and international trade.

  • Referral system linking other small business assistance organizations in the SBDC regional locations.

  • Interaction program between Mississippi educational institutions, businesses, and government.

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