From left, Michael Kane, deputy district director, Eastern PA District Office, SBA; Sonya Smith, associate state director of programs & policy; PASBDC; Neil Fowler, director, Pa. Dept. of Community and Economic Development; Dr. Ernie Post, state director, PASBDC; Adriana Menchacha-Gendron, deputy associate administrator, SBA; Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president, Kutztown University; Charles “Tee” Rowe, president, America’s SBDC; Dr. Anne Carroll, dean, Kutztown University College of Business.

Kutztown University hosted the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (PA-SBDC) grand opening in the Old Main Georgian Room on the KU campus on Sept. 28.

The grand opening celebrated the university’s new lead office designation and featured the PA-SBDC network’s key partners such as the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), stakeholders, center directors and consultants, as well as state and local legislators.

Kutztown University joins 62 Small Business Development Centers nationwide that serve as host organizations. The host organizations operate nearly 1,000 local centers providing free, or low-cost, business consulting and training to the local small business community. As a host organization, the PA-SBDC is responsible for the financial and programmatic oversight of the 18 local centers across the commonwealth. Prior to the designation in July 2018, the network was headquartered at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School for 37 years.

The grand opening included raffles, speakers from Kutztown University, SBA, DCED, as well as remarks from the president of America’s Small Business Development Center, Charles “Tee” Rowe. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place during the grand opening.

“Kutztown University is proud to become Pennsylvania’s Lead Office organization for the PA-SBDC network,” said Ernie Post, PA-SBDC state director. “Small businesses are the engine of our economy, both locally and nationally. It is the small businesses that move our commerce forward into an era of innovation and prosperity.”

Since 1980, the PA-SBDC network has evolved into a network of 18 university and college-based centers, in addition to more than 90 outreach locations, operating under the guidance of the lead office. The network’s mission is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge and resources needed to make their business grow and prosper.

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