South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) and Host Universities Collaborate to Offer Help to Small Businesses
COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC), the state’s premier provider of business assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners, is leveraging its partnerships with host universities to help mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small business owners and the state's economy.
For more than 40 years, South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) throughout the state have worked alongside the faculty and students of business schools at Clemson University, South Carolina State University, the University of South Carolina and Winthrop University. This interaction between the SC SBDC, its unique consortium of host universities and the small business community is a rare win-win-win dynamic.
The U.S. Congress tasked America’s SBDC network with expanding services to help small businesses deal with the challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the SC SBDC and its consortium of business schools have redoubled their efforts to implement programs that support the small business community at large while also benefiting faculty and students.
Some of the most notable outreach initiatives include:
Hiring. The universities are helping to facilitate hiring amidst hiring freezes and facilitating other administrative actions to expedite tasks needed to deliver critical services to small businesses.
Student Internships. Business schools are working with the SC SBDC to identify and recruit students to fill internships at SBDC Area Centers throughout the state. These internships are providing jobs to students who lost internships due to the pandemic while expanding the SC SBDC network's capacity to accomplish its mission of helping small and medium-sized businesses recover and rebuild from the impact of COVID-19. These future business leaders gain vital real-world experience and also provide highly-valued services that small business owners often cannot afford.
Resource Sharing. The business schools comprising the consortium are ripe with talent, knowledge and resources. By sharing these assets with the SC SBDC, they significantly enrich the network's service offerings.
Statewide Reach. The combined capacity of the consortium members and SC SBDC Area Centers extends throughout all 46 of the state's counties. This unified effort ensures that even the most rural communities can access essential services and resources.
Communication. In the wake of home-or-work orders and self-isolation, the SC SBDC realizes that now, more than ever, it is a linchpin for keeping small business owners informed. To that end, the SC SBDC, with assistance from its consortium partners, is working diligently to rigorously vet and regularly communicate vital information to small businesses and stakeholders.
Like the business owners it serves, the SC SBDC has remained diligent, focused and innovative in finding ways to overcome pandemic-related obstacles.
"Although our state's small businesses have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham, "we are very pleased to be collaborating with our host universities so that we can effectively assist these companies with recovering and rebuilding. As we have done for 41 years, the SC SBDC is adapting and evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of the small business community and working to catalyze a gradual recovery of the state's economy one small business at a time."
The SC SBDC encourages all entrepreneurs and small businesses to visit and bookmark the organization's website (www.scsbdc.com) to access resources and information that will help them keep their businesses afloat during and beyond this challenging period. The SC SBDC network of disaster recovery consultants is available via phone, email and online to assist small business owners with preparing and submitting loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.
"As during any disaster, we are here to help businesses endure and recover," said Abraham. "Our team can assist small business owners with developing recovery plans and with other measures to safeguard their employees and customers, and ensure the continued operation of their business."
About the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC)
Twenty-one South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) located throughout the state’s 46 counties offer no-fee 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 affordable education workshops, SBDC centers refer clients to useful business resources. Specialized services include government contracting, exporting, technology commercialization, veterans’ business assistance and minority outreach.
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