PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers have released the cumulative results of its 2013 activities.
The results show that the reduced federal funds for the program because of sequestration directly affected SBDC services delivered statewide to small business owners in Pennsylvania.
The number of entrepreneurs and small business owners who received no-fee, expert, confidential business management advice fell to 10,966, approximately 1,000 less than 2012. The number of educational programs, 671, and program attendees, 12,091, also showed decreases when compared to 2012.
"Automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to federal funding took a toll on our program last year, forcing us to work with reduced resources, directly impacting services to Pennsylvania's small business owners," said Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy. "The steady client count and increases in both client obtained financing and government contracts shows both the demand and results of SBDC services remains strong."
The Pennsylvania SBDC maintains that stable funding for the SBDC program at the national level is needed to best serve entrepreneurs and small businesses in Pennsylvania and nationwide. These national funds are distributed to the states' programs.
Also in 2013, SBDCs faced the loss of funding from the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. These funds targeted start-up companies in the early stages of their business venture, but the funding was a one-time payout. The SBDC anticipates that without additional funding, services for start-ups will be scaled back.
Additional outcomes of the 2013 services summary include:
Consulting topics - Business plan development was the most requested SBDC service in 2013, followed by start-up assistance, marketing, sales and customer relations.
Business sizes - Fifty-seven percent of small businesses who worked with the Pennsylvania SBDC had between one and five employees in 2013 and 15 percent had six to 10 employees.
Client industries - In 2013, 55 percent of small firms who were assisted by the Pennsylvania SBDC were operating in the service industry. The second largest group served was manufacturers at 15 percent. Retail companies made up 14 percent. Companies in the "other" category were at seven percent, and construction and wholesalers at four percent each.
To view the full Pennsylvania SBDC 2013 services summary, visit pasbdc.org.