YSU’s role in growth of area business

Small Biz_4-26-12

Youngstown Mayor Chuck Sammarone, left, applauds while Gil Goldberg, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, presents the Excellence and Innovation Award to Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration. Photo by Jordan D. Uhl/The Jambar.

The Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University set the stage for two major announcements on Tuesday, with the potential for small business growth as its focus.

First, Gil Goldberg, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, awarded the Excellence and Innovation Award for YSU’s Small Business Development Center to Betty Jo Licata, WCBA dean.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of our SBDC. It’s really a pleasure, and I’m proud to accept the award on [the coordinator’s] behalf,” Licata said.

Licata, Goldberg and Youngstown Mayor Chuck Sammarone addressed a few dozen of the community’s bankers and business professionals about their excitement for a revival of the Youngstown Economic Revitalization Initiative.

Support from WBCA, the Small Business Incubator and the SBA will create perfect conditions for business growth in the Youngstown area, they said.

“As you sit here in the middle of the college of business, and you see all the students coming and going, it’s an investment in their future as well and creates great role models for them to see all the great opportunities for them when they graduate,” Licata said.

Goldberg also took the opportunity to introduce the next class of SBA’s e200 Emerging Leaders, which is a “program [used to] identify business that show a high potential for growth — and to provide them the network, resources and motivation required to build a sustainable business of size and scale,” a statement issued by the SBA said.

The program is designed for owners and executives of small businesses who have shown steady growth over the past few years, but need the extra push, Goldberg said.

Participants, through attending class sessions at WCBA, are given the opportunity to “graduate” with an “executive MBA.” Through the process, they network with other leaders and share experiences and insight, which leads to innovative strategies they take back to their companies, Goldberg said.