The Small Business Development Center Gains National Recognition for Exceptional Service

By Brooke Zucco

The Ohio Small Business Development Center connected through the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University won a National Excellence and Innovation Award in May to honor the work of staff and students involved with the SBDC.

The SBDC works closely with the Williamson College of Business through classroom projects and the Beeghly Fellows program, a paid fellowship for business students who become consulting assistants for the semester of their fellowship and work closely with clients.

By collaborating with small businesses, the SBDC offers free consulting with strategic planning, e-counseling, technical assistance, quality-based assessments and loan packaging assistance. 

Patricia Veisz, the director of the SBDC at YSU, said she was surprised and excited about the accomplishment.

“We were very shocked,” Veisz said. “There are almost a thousand SBDC

Photo by Brooke Zucco/The Jambar

After winning the nomination for the district, the program moved to the Chicago region. This region contains several districts from surrounding states.

Out of all the nominations in this region, YSU moved on to the national level. YSU was chosen as the winner out of 12 programs.

Veisz said the SBDC helps the small business community in Youngstown grow each year.

“When the SBDC is faced with a challenge they cannot tackle for a business, they point them in the right direction,” she said. “There are things that we don’t do, but we know the resources because we are all partners to help the community grow.”

Veisz said the SBDC would not be able to do as much as it does without the help of others.

“Everybody is committed, and everybody is here for the same reasons,” she said. 

Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business, said she is proud and honored to be associated with the program.

“Many times, people aren’t aware of what the SBDC does, and hopefully, this award will increase the visibility of the center, so our regional business community knows the services and programs they provide that help support economic development,” she said.

Maria Vince, a senior marketing major and fellow in the Beeghly Fellows program, said she was  very involved with the SBDC.

“It’s all really great experience when you’re a business major to get a general idea of business,” Vince said. “I highly recommend the program to all students interested in participating and learning from working with professionals.”