SACRAMENTO – According to a recently completed annual report compiled by the California Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) from small business client surveys, small businesses experienced substantial growth opportunities due to increased financing in 2014.
The California SBDC is the largest technical assistance provider for small businesses in the state and is part of a national network of nearly 1,000 centers – which are funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Through its 42 centers, the California SBDC provided free on-on-one consulting and low-cost workshops to 60,000 small businesses in 2014. The positive economic impacts of the SBDC program included helping clients’ access more than $535 million in loans and equity investments, a staggering 56 percent increase in capital infusion over the prior year.
In addition, follow up client surveys credited the California SBDC program’s assistance with the creation and retention of 8,624 jobs last year, the launch of 920 new businesses and sales increases of nearly $344 million. Jesse Torres, chair of the California Small Business Development Centers Leadership Council, attributed the upswing in impacts of the SBDC program to several factors including increased funding for services, a statewide initiative centered on helping clients increase loan and investment opportunities as well as an increase in demand for services from technology firms.
“In 2014, the California SBDC Network assisted our clients in achieving more than half a billion dollars in capital infusion,” Torres said. “Through important grants like the Governor’s Capital Infusion program, we were able to expand our confidential business advising and secure our place as a leader in capital infusion assistance. We are grateful to Governor Brown’s leadership on this special funding for our centers and for the state’s ongoing support for small business.”
Last September the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced its Capital Infusion Program that would provide $2 million in one-time, matching grants to California SBDC offices to assist small businesses in obtaining capital. The funding came at a crucial time for the California SBDC and provided some assistance in meeting the federal matching funds requirement from the SBA.
Across its 43 centers and more than 100 outreach locations, California Small Business Development Centers provided more than 78,000 hours of free consulting to entrepreneurs in 2014 and conducted 2,515 workshops across the state.
“The SBA’s highly productive partnership with the California SBDC Network has had a significant positive impact in helping small businesses start, grow and prosper,” said SBA Region 9 Regional Administrator Donna Davis. “The SBA’s ongoing commitment to small business and entrepreneurial development not only provides enhanced technical assistance service to the 3.6 million small businesses in California, but also promotes economic development and job growth.”
For more information on California Small Business Development Centers or to find a Small Business Development Center near you, go to www.californiasbdc.org.