Orangeburg Area Small Business Development Center Wins SBA Awards

Orangeburg Area SBDC is named State and Southeast Regional SBDC of the Year

COLUMBIA, SC¬—The South Carolina SBDC network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, is pleased to announce that its Orangeburg Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has been named the SBA’s 2020 State and Southeast Regional SBDC Center of Excellence and Innovation. SBA South Carolina District Director Gregg White recognized the Orangeburg Area SBDC last week in a virtual awards ceremony hosted by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the SBA South Carolina District Office.

"Our goal is to honor and recognize our winners for their hard work and dedication to advancing the small business community,” White said when presenting the award. “Most importantly, we appreciate the jobs and opportunities they continue to create for the South Carolina economy.”


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“The Orangeburg Area SBDC team is honored to have been selected for this award,” said Jim Johnson, director of the South Carolina State University region. “The award reflects the significance of the SBDC program in the rural regions of South Carolina, especially in the Orangeburg community. While the award goes to the Orangeburg Area SBDC, the real winners are the successful small business owners that we have been fortunate to assist over the years.”

In 2019, this five-person team—which is the go-to provider for small to medium-sized businesses in a seven-county region based in Orangeburg-- assisted 303 clients in the creation of 33 new businesses, the acquisition of $1.2 million in capital formation and the creation or retention of 135 jobs. The Center also conducted 23 training workshops attended by more than 343 people.

The Orangeburg Area SBDC won not only the state award but also the Southeast region, which comprises eight states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“Jim Johnson and his team of dedicated consultants are highly respected for the important work they do in advancing these rural economies,” said SC State Director Michele Abraham. “These distinctions attest to the fact that the SC SBDC network is fully committed to its mission of advancing the state’s economic development by helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses,” she added.

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About National Small Business Week
Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week, which is usually held in May. Due to COVID-19, SBA's national virtual event was held September 22-24. This year’s National Small Business Week activities included numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover toward a stronger economy.
To learn more about National Small Business Week, please visit www.sba.gov/nsbw.

About the Orangeburg Area Small Business Development Center
The Orangeburg Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is locally hosted by South Carolina State University and covers Orangeburg, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Calhoun and Hampton counties.

About the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC)
Twenty South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) located throughout the state’s 46 counties offer pro bono individual, confidential business consulting. Highly-trained consultants assist both existing and startup companies by providing a variety of services including business plan development, fiscal and operations management, human resources, financing options, marketing strategies and much more. In addition to conducting a variety of free or low-cost education workshops, SBDC centers refer clients to useful business resources. Specialized services include government contracting, exporting, technology commercialization, veterans’ business assistance and minority outreach.

Visit SCSBDC.com to find a center and make an appointment. Follow us at facebook.com/SCSBDC & @SCSBDC.


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