SBDC aiding North Country businesses
Opening a small business can be a lot of hard work when you are first starting out.

Fortunately for Northern New York residents and Plattsburgh students, Plattsburgh State University College's North Country Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers vast opportunities for current and future entrepreneurs with a successful track record.

"When we see realization and recognition come into the eyes of an entrepreneur, that is the most rewarding thing," Delena Clark, regional director for the center, said.

Small business projects and investments have been sprouting up throughout the North Country with the help of SBDC.

From the previous fiscal year, the center has increased its economic development impact by nearly $1.4 million, accumulating $7.10 million, according to data provided by the group's seasonal newsletter.

The center has helped the needs of many successful area clients including one that was named the "NYSBDC's Startup Company of the Year."

"Because the center is based rurally and spread out, and because many of our clients invest less than $100,000 in their business, to attain this amount of impact is very significant," Clark said. "We're reaching more existing businesses and typically these businesses have more resources for investment."

SBDC first opened in 1986 and is one of the state's 23 regional centers, servicing an extensive area of New York State, including the counties of Warren, Hamilton, Essex, Clinton, Franklin and parts of Northern Washington.

The center assists many local businesses with management, consulting services and marketing through its federal and state funding.

Dean of the PSUC School of Business and Economics Colin Read said he thought the center provided an excellent resource for students studying business to give them a hands-on experience in their field.

"Plattsburgh's SBDC is one of the best in the state," Read said. "It gives business students real world experience and that's what we find valuable. There's a real synergy from having them here right on campus. The business program has had a terrific relationship with the center."

Clark said the center was very open to students who are studying business and who are interested in creating an enterprise.

"If a student is interested in an entrepreneurial idea, I would be glad to sit down and talk with them about it," Clark said.

"Students can also intern at the center as a credited class, this is a good place for business majors to fulfill their requirements."

Russ Cornwall, a PSUC senior and economics major, worked as an intern at the center earlier in the semester and first learned about the opportunity from a class he had with Clark.

"It's an interesting internship," Cornwall said. "There's no set schedule, you just work on a client's needs, financial analysis and cost management. I learned a lot from the experience and if a student is interested in starting a small business, it's a good resource."

Clark said the center will continue to grow with continued community outreach and through working with current business clients. "Our staff has done a great job growing the center, and we'll continue to be a campus and community resource," she said.

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