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What is #SBDCDay? A Celebration of Small Business Development Centers

March 18, 2020 | Small Business Loans
What is #SBDCDay? A Celebration of Small Business Development Centers, CDC Small Business

One of the most helpful resources a small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur can tap is a Small Business Development Center (SBDC). As a mission-driven small business lender, CDC Small Business Finance (CDCSBF) greatly values the work and partnership of the SBDC’s.

Our visions are aligned in our commitment to help small business owners succeed. It is the type of collaboration where everyone wins — CDCSBF refers business owners and leaders of start-ups who can benefit from an SBDC’s business advising. In turn, when the SBDC’s have a client who is loan-ready, they refer them to us to help them gain access to financing to fulfill their business goals.

March 18 is SBDC Day, a chance for partners like CDCSBF to celebrate the essential contributions of the centers. We sincerely thank them for building programs that business owners and start-ups can use to lay their foundation for success.

Susan Lamping, CDCSBF’s Vice President of Sales, supervises a team of small business loan experts. The team, including Miriam Torres Baltys in San Diego, Noe Castillo and Monica Guevara in Los Angeles, April Lewis in the Inland Empire, Stacey Sanchez in Orange County, and Joe Salas in Central California, work closely with their local SBDCs across California.

They have seen first hand the power of the vital support the SBDC’s provide to the small business community.

“Our loan officers are really the primary connection to the SBDCs,” Susan said. “They’re the speakers at the events, they’re the ones that partner with the business counselors and the finance experts. They really work with the SBDCs one on one.”

Want to know more? Here’s a guide to some of what SBDCs do to help small businesses in your community:

What is #SBDCDay? A Celebration of Small Business Development Centers, CDC Small Business

What’s a Small Business Development Center?

It’s a community resource that offers one-on-one counseling, along with classes and workshops on a wide variety of business topics. They can focus on the fundamentals, such as advice on how to get started, but they also delve more deeply into questions about financing, accounting, growth management and more. As Sudershan Shaunak, director of the North San Diego SBDC says, his staff and counselors help owners and entrepreneurs “take their business to the next level.”

What’s the impact of an SBDC?

Nationally, according to America’s SBDC, clients in 2018 logged annual sales growth of $7 billion. The nearly 18% growth rate is more than four times the national average. Those who received SBDC guidance launched 16,499 new businesses, while creating more than 99,000 jobs.

One group of centers, in San Diego and Imperial Counties, served nearly 3,500 clients last year, and 215 businesses opened as a result. Officials estimate their guidance helped clients increase sales by $109 million.

Do they have special programs?

Yes. Some centers focus on the needs of women, veterans and people of color, offering a similar mix of counseling, workshops and courses. In addition, in the event of an emergency, SBDCs coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state offices to operate Business Recovery Centers in affected communities. They also host special events on hot topics in small business, from cybersecurity to opportunities in rural areas.

What’s the cost for SBDC services?

Mostly free, but low cost when a fee applies. For example, among recent full slates of classes in the greater Los Angeles region and San Diego County, only sessions on business plan writing, pitching and web design came at a cost – typically $10.

How do you find an SBDC?

You can use this tool to seek the center closest to you. You also might be referred by a mission-based lender like CDCSBF. Someone with a good idea, but an under-developed business plan for instance, might need advice on how to prepare a complete plan that would be attractive to the Small Business Administration. The SBA guarantees loans for those who might otherwise be turned down for financing by traditional banks.

Just as our loan officers refer small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to the centers, SBDC staff also sends well-prepared clients to lenders like us to get access to the funding they need to pursue their dreams.

Our loan officers see the tremendous impact the SBDC counselors and classes can have on helping their clients form more sound approaches to operations and financial management.

For instance, Stacey Sanchez said the center staff are especially helpful with business plans and projections. Her recent clients who worked with an SBDC run an impressive gamut. They include an arborist, a brewer and a producer of biodegradable bb pellets. Miriam Baltys’ include a main street boutique, a sushi restaurant and a provider of anti-static hair styling and pet tools.

What is #SBDCDay? A Celebration of Small Business Development Centers, CDC Small Business

SBDC’s offer a variety of classes to support entrepreneurs and those already in business.

Thank you, SBDC’s

A long and fruitful relationship exists between CDC Small Business Finance and the SBDCs. Giving new and established businesses a stronger foundation would not be possible without it.

Susan said “there’s no question” that clients sent to SBDCs will get the answers they need.

“On both sides there’s trust. We feel really confident going to an SBDC,” she said. “I know the SBDC team and I know their work ethic. I know they are going to take good care of our referrals.”

In case you missed it:
Small business in the U.S. – 30 million-plus and growing
Love your business, but stumped by financials? You’re not alone
Your financial projection – a roadmap to success

CDC Small Business Finance offers several loan options for entrepreneurs and business owners alike. Are you ready to grow or planning for your long-term needs? Contact our loan experts about your business and they’ll work to match you with a financing plan that best suits you. Reach us at loaninfo@cdcloans.com or (619) 243-8667.

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