Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Pellissippi marks milestones

More jobs, more capital investment for East Tennessee businesses and more training for the region’s entrepreneurs. That’s one way to sum up the broad impact of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Pellissippi State Community College for the first six months of this year.

The TSBDC’s 2009 semi-annual report highlights several milestones, including capital formation of nearly $10 million, an increase of 42 percent for the last half of 2008. As indicators of its economic impact, the organization also cited 115 new jobs and 19 new businesses in its 16-county service area.

The TSBDC helps new businesses trying to get off the ground, and it supports existing businesses, like Downtown Hardware in Oak Ridge, nominated for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Success Story Program this year.

One of the store’s owners, Ann Bratton, sought the TSBDC’s help evaluating the store’s target market, among other services. The store struggled with competition from larger ones that moved into the area. TSBDC advice, seminars, resource information and ability to put her in touch with people who could answer her questions enabled Bratton to develop a plan to help the business grow.

According to the report, the TSBDC served several more clients during the last reporting period and increased the number of online seminars from three to 21, with 128 people participating. The TSBDC continued its work in the areas of advocacy for small businesses, innovation and technology transfer, international trade, resource development and minority business development.

Minorities represent 13.6 percent of the center’s clients and 18.8 percent of training attendees. Women account for 41.8 percent of clients and 53 percent of training attendees. The TSBDC also continued building its relationship with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, like the Pellissippi State TSBDC, a Knoxville Area Chamber partner.

For more information about the TSBDC and the Pellissippi State office, visit www.tsbdc.org.

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