SACRAMENTO, Calif.—According to a recently completed annual report created from small business client surveys, California Small Business Development Centers have contributed to the development of a combined 10,817 new and retained jobs in 2012 – representing an increase of more than 17 percent over 2011.
Through its 43 service centers in the state, the California SBDC provided free one-on-one consulting and low cost trainings to more than 63,000 of California’s 1.3 million small business owners last year. The SBDC is the largest provider of technical assistance to small businesses in the state and is a part of a national program of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
According to the annual report, job growth and increased success at accessing loans and equity capital topped the most-improved economic impact areas for California entrepreneurs in 2012. Loan and equity capital investments attributed to SBDC services by business owners, increased to more than $381.7 million, up from $211 million in 2011, resulting in an 80 percent increase in loans and equity for small business clients.
Priscilla Lopez, state chair of the California SBDC, credited some of the increases to an overall improvement in the U.S. economy as well as a one-time state investment into SBDC services championed by Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) in the 2010/2011 fiscal year. Increased capacity by state funding allowed for more businesses to be assisted by the SBDC in 2011 and resulted in an additional $170 million in loan and equity growth in 2012.
“Small Business Development Centers have also made concerted efforts to help entrepreneurs navigate the new, higher standards that lenders are held to when deciding which businesses are safe investments,” Lopez said. “Times are changing and our business advisors are constantly monitoring where opportunities exist for their clients.”
Combined, centers reported spending more than 120,000 hours assisting entrepreneurs with loan applications, cash-flow management, business plans, government contracting and specialty technology advising and other needs. As a result of SBDC services, small businesses increased sales by $285 million, up from $244 million in 2011. Further, clients attributed 929 new business starts to the assistance they received by the California SBDC in 2012.
“Job creation and access to capital remain top priorities for the Small Business Administration,” said U.S. SBA Regional Administrator Elizabeth Echols. “The California SBDC’s focus on helping the state’s small businesses access capital has made a significant impact for entrepreneurs at a time in our economy when they most needed it.”
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