The hard work of the staff at the Charleston Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Charleston, South Carolina was recognized recently when the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) chose the Charleston SBDC as its 2016 National SBDC Center of Excellence and Innovation.
Representatives from the Charleston SBDC will travel to Washington, D.C. May 1-2 to accept the award from SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet during the observance of National Small Business Week.
“National Small Business Week is an important moment when we honor our nation’s 28 million small businesses and renew our commitment to fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that is central to small business success,” Contreras-Sweet said. “This year’s recipients are educators and dynamic leaders in their respective small business fields. It is an honor to celebrate their hard work and success.”
To win the national award, a small business development center must first be named the top SBA or center in its home state. The Charleston SBDC also garnered that honor for Region IV, competing against small business centers from South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky.
“We are proud to be a vital resource for local small businesses, and we’re humbled to have been recognized on a national level for the success we’ve helped our clients achieve,” Tom Lauria, who served as the Charleston SBDC’s area manager from 2007-15, said. “It’s a testament to the efforts of our team and the passion they show for the work they do that has allowed the center to earn this award.”
The current SBDC team includes counselors Linda Blanton, Darrell Jones, Wayne Mulligan, Steve Taylor and Jim Wasson and administrative assistant Melida Low. Last year, these team members assisted 521 clients and helped to create 32 new businesses and 255 jobs, while at the same time putting $5.3 million in capital into the Palmetto State.
The staff was also instrumental in getting their clients $1.4 billion worth of government contracts.
“I’m gratified to have played a part in earning this recognition,” Darrell Jones, who took over management duties at the center in January 2015, said. “We hope to expand our resources to help even more small business owners and entrepreneurs with new programs and workshops that meet the growing needs of our community.”
6296 Rivers Ave
Charleston, SC 29406