Small businesses in the US generate 44 percent of the economic activity in the country. To support this important sector Congress created the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
Many years later, Small Business Development Centers Day was birthed.
This day, celebrated across the US on the third Wednesday in March, is a national recognition and appreciation for the impact of SBDCs on small businesses across the United States.
SBDC Day takes place on March 15 this year.
What are Small Business Development Centers, and Why are they Important?
It’s unfortunate that many small business owners in the US are not aware of all the resources available to them. The network of Small Business Development Centers is one of those resources.
SBDCs are non-profits that aid and support small businesses, including start-ups and established small businesses, as counseling, training, and resources.
Leading universities, colleges, private partners, and state economic development agencies hosted SBDCs. They’re partly funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA), state and local governments, and the private sector. They’re the most comprehensive small business help network in the US and its territories.
Since SBDCs run in collaboration with local businesses and their local governments, every center is tailored to the needs of their community, and the staff is also local.
SBDC Day hopes to form a community where American small business owners can come together and benefit from each other’s expertise.
History of Small Business Development Centers Day
The SBDC network was established in 1979 to provide free counseling, training, and technical assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs. It was authorized a year later by the Small Business Development Centers Act of 1980.
The centers are staffed by professional business advisors who work one-on-one with small business owners to help them make informed decisions, access capital and overcome obstacles to growth.
They provide services such as:
- Market research help
- Business plan development
- Procurement and contracting aid
- Export/import support
- Marketing strategies
- Financial management
- Disaster recovery assistance
- Healthcare guidance
- Access to Capital
Since its establishment, the SBDC program has helped millions of small businesses start, grow and succeed.
National Small Business Development Centers Day was first observed in 2017. A year later, the House Committee on Small Business recognized the day. SBDC day was created to raise awareness of the services offered by SBDCs and their positive impact on local communities and economies.
SBDC Day unites 62 lead Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across America, nearly 1,000 service locations, and the multitude of clients they serve. It’s an opportunity for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and supporters to come together and recognize the contributions of SBDCs and the dedicated professionals who help small businesses succeed.
How to Observe Small Business Development Centers Day
You can join the Small Business Development Centers Day celebrations by:
- Participating in events organized by SBDCs and learning about all the benefits
- Following the conversation online by following the hashtag #SBDCDay
- Supporting small businesses by buying from them, promoting and thanking them for the wonderful work they’re doing
- Volunteering your skills and expertise to help promote or encourage small businesses to reach their potential
“SBDCs play a critical role in supporting and promoting small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy,” says Darren Nomberg, Senior Vice President, Investments at David Lerner Associates. “They provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, and succeed, and help to create jobs and drive economic growth in communities across the country.”
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