County takes stand on business development

By JIM RUNKLE, jrunkle@lockhaven.com

LOCK HAVEN — The Clinton County commissioners are telling state leaders that the local Small Business Development Center is a critical, must-preserve service for the community.

The county board thought the matter so important, the commissioners recently sent letters in support of the center to Gov. Tom Wolf, State Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, and State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven, regarding funding for the SBDC.

The letters were sent amid the continuing uncertainty surrounding the state budget, which has a deadline for approval at the end of this month.

Gov. Wolf has proposed to continue SBDC services in the 2017-18 budget. But some proposals making their way through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives have suggested deep cuts could occur to funding for critical agencies and programs, possibly including this one.

The letter states:

“Small business is critical to Clinton County. As such, the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center is a vital resource to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in our region.

“The SBDC is on the front line providing the services so many small firms need to survive, grow and thrive.

“Their work results directly in new businesses being started, new jobs being created, and new taxes being generated through increased economic activity.

“The Clinton County Board of Commissioners and the Clinton County Economic Partnership work with the Lock Haven University SBDC regularly to provide information, education, and assistance to new and established businesses in our area.

“The services provided by the SBDC help us in our efforts to improve the economic conditions in our county and for our citizens. Investing in the Pennsylvania SBDC network is a wise use of tax dollars. The SBDC is a program that is proven to work effectively. If our economy is to be strong, it is critical that SBDC services for small business owners remain available. Therefore, we strongly urge you to provide $4 million in funding for the SBDC program in the 2017-2018 budget. We would appreciate knowing of your position on this.”

THE SBDC

The Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center is a member of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers, a statewide non-profit network of university-based centers that provide in-depth, quality business and economic development assistance to small businesses and prospective small businesses.

The Lock Haven University SBDC was established in 1992 to promote growth, expansion, innovation, increased productivity and management improvement in existing small businesses in Clinton and Lycoming counties. Small business owners or individuals interested in starting a small business in these areas are invited to request free assistance.

For more information, phone 570-484-2589 or visit the center, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Lock Haven University East Campus, 301 W. Church St.

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