EUGENE, OR - The Lane Community College Small Business Development Center has received the 2012 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration for both the SBA's Oregon and Southwest Washington District, and Region X which includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
The awards put Lane in the running for the national award which will be announced by the SBA this week as part of National Small Business Week, May 20-26, in Washington D.C.
"This speaks volumes to the success of your center in serving aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in your community," wrote Robert DuCote, deputy district director for the SBA, in an award letter to Shirl Meads, Lane SBDC operations coordinator, and Gary Smith, faculty and coach of the center's signature Small Business Management Program.
Lane received the awards for consistently displaying outstanding commitment in service delivery and for catalyzing innovative approaches to training and advising for Lane County business owners and their employees. The center was recognized specifically for establishing highly effective niche and specialty markets such as the Small and Veterans Business Management Programs and for its community-based, rural and urban, peer-to-peer business enrichment programs for established businesses, such as Agricultural Business Management Program, Strategies for Success program, and its new Start, Run, and Grow Your Business program.
Norm Proctor, SBA Acting Regional Administrator, wrote, "Your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your community have made you a success in your business ... You can be proud of the role you are playing in our nation's economic recovery."
Lane's SBDC leads all of Oregon's 19 SBDCs in long-term clients served this year. These highly effective client relationships yielded 20 percent of the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network's overall "jobs retained" results, and reflects local economic conditions of the past year. "Existing distressed businesses come to the SBDC for guidance in keeping their payrolls intact," said Michael Lainoff, director of the OSBDCN.
Besides helping existing businesses, Lane's SBDC assists start-up businesses as well. The cornerstone Small Business Management Program provides opportunities for new or established businesses to grow via the shared knowledge of seasoned entrepreneurs and their peers in the program. The first year is spent building knowledge of business and personal networks with other small business owners. The subsequent two years focus on growing the business, mastering concepts and fine-tuning operations.