MURRAY, Ky. (Feb. 19, 2018) — The Small Business Development Center at Murray State University celebrated record-breaking job creation in the region and several strides among partner organizations in 2017.
“This has been one of the most impactful years for the Murray State University Small Business Development Center,” said Chris Wooldridge, district director. “We continue to see growth in demand for our services, and I am very pleased with the role we have held this past year in assisting the growth of regional entrepreneurship.”
The Small Business Development Center is an outreach program at Murray State seeking to improve economic vitality in western Kentucky through high-quality, personalized consulting and training for pre-venture and existing small businesses. Since the Center’s founding in 1981, they have partnered with more than 25 organizations in the region to help them continue making a difference in their respective communities.
Among the center’s most notable accomplishments in 2017 was the record-breaking creation of 282 new jobs in the region through collaboration with local businesses.
“This year was far beyond our expectations and targeted goal in job creation with clients — both pre-venture as well as existing businesses — in the region,” Wooldridge said. “I could not be happier with the dedication of our team in working with our clients to start or expand their operation and thereby creating employment opportunities. We are excited to play a part in the region’s growth and economic vitality.”
In addition to creating new jobs in western Kentucky, the Small Business Development Center’s partner organizations saw much success in the past year.
R&R Angus in Murray, for instance, was recognized in October with several winning titles at the Kentucky State Fair’s Open Angus Show.
Another business recognized in 2017 was the Miller House, located in Owensboro, which won a Small Business Success Story Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration for their renovation that transformed a vintage home into a restaurant. Tamela Darnell, a consultant for the Small Business Development Center, was also inducted into the $1 million loan club for her work developing capital resources for clients.
Additionally, all consultants in the Small Business Development Center at Murray State received their American Bankers Association certifications in business and commercial lending, which adds another level of service excellence to their work with clients’ lenders. The Small Business Development Center and the University’s Center for Telecommunications Systems Management also joined the Technology Council of West Kentucky, pursuing a mission to help grow and develop the technology industry in the region as well as to support entrepreneurship in technology.
The Small Business Development Center at Murray State is operated in the university’s Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and is a member of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center network. In addition to offering management consulting services, the center hosts several specialty services and training workshops about a variety of topics, such as social network marketing, strategic planning, human resource management, marketing basics and more.
The Small Business Development Center is located in Heritage Hall on the university’s main campus in Murray. A fully-operational center is also located in Owensboro with additional offices in Paducah, Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Henderson. For more information, please visit murraystate.edu/sbdc or contact the main office at (270) 809-2856.