Small Business Development Center Moving to Massena
The Small Business Development Center at SUNY Canton will move its headquarters from the campus to its education center at the St. Lawrence Centre by the end of the year to assist business owners and new entrepreneurs after the General Motors Corp. shutters its Powertrain plant.

"We anticipate a number of people will want to create their own careers when GM closes," SBDC Executive Director Dale J. Rice said. "But we can also help existing businesses transition by figuring out ways they can run more efficiently."

The center has helped a "handful" of GM employees since May, but Mr. Rice said he thinks more people will look for assistance following the layoffs that union officials think will start this month.

The center will bring four employees to the mall, and it will operate a satellite office at the SUNY Canton campus.

"Canton is a central location, and people do not want to drive from Gouverneur to Massena, so we want to keep that office open," Mr. Rice said.

The center employs two business advisers who will work out of the Massena and Canton locations until a third business adviser and a part-time clerk can be hired for the campus satellite office, Mr. Rice said.

The center helps people who want to start or improve their business to create a business plan, which can help them be approved for loans.

"The SBDC has a tremendous track record within the business community," Joseph L. Kennedy, SUNY Canton president and North Country Redevelopment Task Force member, said in a statement. "They will be a valuable asset to the community of Massena, in addition to the rest of the county."

Since the SBDC was created in 1998, it has invested $28 million, helped save 247 jobs and created another 661 jobs. It has worked with Route 11 Trucking in Canton, Agway in Potsdam and SunFeather Soaps in Parishville, among others.

Advisers provide free individual counseling on every aspect of business administration. Its services are similar to the Massena Business Development Corp.'s proposed "small business incubator," which would provide space for small businesses to grow. But neither organization is worried about duplicating efforts.

"We have a great partnership," SBDC Executive Director Jason A. Clark said. "I think the move will only enhance our collaborative relationship."

The center plans to start more outreach programs to forge partnerships with chambers of commerce and economic development agencies.

The SBDC's move to Massena will take place later this year after renovations at the education center are complete. Meanwhile, the SBDC will take appointments at St. Lawrence Centre and at the campus location.

To make an appointment with the SBDC, call 386-7312.

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