PIKETON, Ohio – The Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon Small Business Development Center has been named the 2009 Best Center in Ohio for its excellence in assisting new and existing small businesses throughout Appalachia Ohio.
The regional SBDC, which serves 10 counties -- Adams, Brown, Lawrence, Scioto, Gallia, Pike, Ross, Highland, Jackson and Vinton – was chosen based on the number of clients it serves, and the amount of time personnel invest with clients, as well as the amount of capital clients have secured through the center's assistance. The Region 7 SBDC also includes the Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center.
"For anyone interested in starting his or her own business or are looking to expand an existing business, we are an excellent point of contact," said Ryan Mapes, an OSU South Centers business development specialist and director of the Region 7 SBDC. "We partner with Chambers of Commerce and economic development agencies throughout the region to meet with businesses and provide such services as completing a business or marketing plan, educating businesses on loan packages and providing employee training opportunities."
Brad Bapst, director of OSU South Centers Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center, said that being chosen as the top Small Business Development Center in Ohio says a lot about staff members and their ability to help businesses in southern Ohio succeed.
"The award is the result of the reputation that the center has developed with businesses in the region," said Bapst. "To invest the time with clients and be diligent in following-up requires attention to detail, and for our staff to achieve that speaks highly of their knowledge and ability to service our clients' needs."
The Small Business Development Center and the Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center provide services to clients free of charge. In 2009, the centers served over 600 clients and spent 6,600 hours of contact time. Nearly half of those clients are long-term clients. They also assisted with helping to start 22 new businesses resulting in the creation of 41 jobs. Through SBDC assistance, new and existing businesses secured over $10 million in capital.
"I know that a lot of people are not fully aware that we are here, but we've really helped out a lot of clients. We've had struggling businesses come to us for assistance and they've been able to identify issues, positively address those (?) issues, and make their business more successful," said Mapes. "The Small Business Development Center is just a great tool and resource to turn to."
For more information on the OSU South Centers Small Business Development Center and Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center, log on to http://sbdc.osu.edu.
The Small Business Development Center and the Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center are part of the OSU South Centers Business Development Network, which also includes the Ohio Cooperative Development Center, the Endeavor Center, Entrepreneurial Signature Program and the Ohio Farmers' Market Program.
For more information, log on to http://southcenters.osu.edu and click on "business."