Wednesday, May 20, 2009

UC Merced Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Receives Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) Accreditation

Release Date: Immediate Release
Contact: Diane Howerton, Regional Director,

UC Merced Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Receives Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) Accreditation

Fresno, CA: The UC Merced SBDC Network lead center in Central California representing 15 counties is poised to celebrate. They received notification from the Chair of the national ASBDC Accreditation Committee that the administration and staff have achieved an important milestone - recommendation to accredit by the visiting team and an affirmative vote at the ASBDC meeting in March 2009.

Diane Howerton, Regional State Director, UC Merced Small Business Development Center Network said, "This is a long, but extremely important process, and it is imperative for our funding and the Network's movement toward achieving a world-class delivery system for small business counseling and training needs." The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) accreditation standards are based upon the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for performance excellence. Diane said further that "the internal review that supported the report was an arduous but positive experience; one that will serve as a roadmap for continuous improvement of the SBDC Network."

UC Merced was awarded the SBA contract in 2003 to serve 15 counties in Central California: San Luis Obispo, San Benito, Sana Clara (south of Bernal Road), Monterey (east of the Salinas River), Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern, Mono and Inyo. The mission of the network is to promote the development and growth of small businesses by providing high quality business assistance throughout Central California thereby enhancing regional prosperity. This mission has resulted in consulting more than 9,672 clients, creating and/or retaining 2,912 jobs and has worked with business clients and entrepreneurs to generate $125,694,251in new capital investment.

The California SBDC Network is part of a national delivery system that assists more than 1.3 million business owners annually. The SBDC was established by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and operates throughout the U.S. with 63 regional Lead Centers overseeing operations in more than 1,100 SBDC service centers. Most states have one SBDC Lead Center operating under a university or college that administers the service centers in the region. California, due to its extensive geographical reach and expansive entrepreneurial spirit - has six regional Lead Centers of which the UC Merced is one.

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