Penn State, LHU SBDCs become one
LOCK HAVEN — The Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center and the Penn State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) have joined forces.
The new larger organization, Penn State SBDC, will serve Centre, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties.
Penn State SBDC will provide support for small businesses at four office locations: a central office, located in Innovation Park at Penn State, adjacent to the University Park campus in Centre County; a satellite office at Lock Haven University in Clinton County; and two outreach locations, one in Lewistown in Mifflin County and a second in Williamsport in Lycoming County.
Tim Keohane, longstanding director of the Lock Haven SBDC, took the helm of the new combined organization Jan. 1, 2020.
“The union of these two seasoned organizations and their experienced staff will benefit small businesses across the region,” said Lora Weiss, senior vice president for research at Penn State. “The SBDC mission is consistent with the Invent Penn State initiative’s goal to provide support to small businesses and entrepreneurs in central Pennsylvania and beyond. We see this as an extension of our economic development commitment and part of our land grant mission.”
The two centers were already collaborating in the delivery of business development programs, especially those within the existing Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) Central Region. PREP is the state’s network of business assistance partners designed to work in concert to deliver vital business assistance services across 10 regions of Pennsylvania.
“The vitality of small businesses in and around Clinton and Lycoming counties is important to the continuity of Lock Haven University and the economic health of the region,” said William Hanelly, senior vice president and chief operating officer, finance and administration at Lock Haven University. “Having worked with Tim Keohane for many years, I have full confidence in his ability to lead this larger organization and expanded geography and bring expert resources to small businesses in Clinton and Lycoming counties and the surrounding area, in addition to Centre and Mifflin.”
As a member of the statewide Pennsylvania SBDC network, the Penn State SBDC will continue to provide confidential one-on-one consulting and seminars to pre-venture, startup and existing small businesses. Skilled professionals provide consulting at no charge that emphasizes guidance in finding practical solutions to business problems. Combining the resources of Penn State and Lock Haven offices will enable a wider array of consulting expertise by leveraging the strength of each university in all four counties.
“We are always happy when we can find efficiencies in how we provide services and steward funds provided by our trusted partners in the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Small Business Administration,” says Ernie Post, Director of the Pennsylvania SBDC network. “We are committed to lean operations that enhance provision of services. This consolidation is the type of efficiency we hope to achieve as we continue to look for ways to optimize the structure of the SBDC in Pennsylvania.”
In fall 2020, the Penn State SBDC also will offer seminars on Pennsylvania’s Qualified Opportunity Zone program, and on cybersecurity. Throughout the year Penn State SBDC offers specialized programming to women, minority, and veteran owned small businesses.
“We are excited about the expanded programming we are able to offer this year,” Keohane said. “Small businesses should check our website and social media pages regularly for new announcements.”
Small business owners in Centre, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties seeking free confidential one-on-one consulting and educational seminars on important topics or who are wanting to learn more about Penn State SBDC location, hours and services, may visit sbdc.psu.edu, call 814-863-4293, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Penn State SBDC:
Funding support and resources are provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration; by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community & Economic Development; and in part through support from?Penn State?and with assistance from Lock Haven University.?All services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been debarred or suspended by the federal government.