Clients of a UC Merced center that focuses on small business brought in $56.4 million in loans and equity during the last fiscal year, according to a news release.
UC Merced’s Small Business Development Center offers consulting, training, research and other resources for small-business owners. The amount of loans and equity brought in during the 2012-13 fiscal year are double that of the previous year, according to the release.
“(The center) has done an exemplary job in raising the bar on job creation and economic development in central California,” said Carlos Mendoza, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, in the release. “This is a wonderful success story for our region and the communities.”
The center’s network provided consulting to 1,873 small businesses, and 3,539 entrepreneurs participated in training events throughout the year, the release stated, adding that the center helped 124 new businesses open, which created 528 jobs.
The center’s services stretch through 15 counties in the state under the leadership of UC Merced. The network includes California State University system schools in Fresno, Bakersfield, Monterey Bay and San Luis Obispo.
Modesto and Merced are also home to “Alliance” offices.
Diane Howerton, the regional director for the center, said she values the partnership the center has forged with the Small Business Administration. The joint effort supports small business and entrepreneurial assistance in central California, she said in the release.
“We have a dedicated team of professionals who provide outstanding assistance in order to build successful and sustainable business communities,” Howerton wrote.
The center’s network is one of 63 state programs in America’s Small Business Development Center Network.
This national program is the most comprehensive small business assistance network in the United States and its territories, according to the release.
The mission of the network is to help new entrepreneurs realize business ownership, the release states, and help existing businesses remain competitive in the marketplace.
About 1,000 centers such as UC Merced’s provide business consulting and training at low or no cost to participants, the release stated. The centers exist primarily through universities and state economic development agencies.
More information on the center, go to sbdc.ucmerced.edu.