U of A Small Business Development Center Awarded for Excellence and Innovation
From left: Arkansas SBA director Edward Haddock, ASBTDC consultants Lori Lieblong, Stephanie Parsons, Mary Beth Brooks (director), Scott Lacy, Catherine Corley, ASBTDC state director Laura Fine.
The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the U of A received the 2022 Arkansas SBDC Excellence and Innovation Center Award May 3 at the statewide ASBTDC meeting in Little Rock. Edward Haddock, Arkansas SBA director, presented the award to U of A center director Mary Beth Brooks and her team.
“Our team is honored by this recognition from the SBA,” Brooks said. “We work diligently to provide the needed services to our small business clients in the Northwest Arkansas region. Their success is essential to the vitality of the regional economy and is at the forefront of our work each day.”
ASBTDC is a unit of the U of A Division of Economic Development and part of a statewide network of university-based centers that work with all types of small businesses through confidential, one-on-one consultation at no cost to the client. ASBTDC consultants, specialists and contract experts provide support to startups, small businesses seeking expansion and growth, struggling businesses and entrepreneurs buying or selling a business. “I am tremendously proud of the innovation and creativity this office demonstrates through consulting, outreach and events. Mary Beth and her team are vital partners in economic development and champions for small businesses across all industries,” said ASBTDC state director Laura Fine.
With offices in Fayetteville and at the U of A Collaborative in Bentonville, the center serves six counties in Northwest Arkansas: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Washington. Consultants and specialists offer expanded services in business planning, financial analysis, marketing and social media strategy to small business clients. Since 2018, the center has recorded 135 startup businesses, 1,452 jobs created or retained, 175 in-person and virtual workshops and capital infusion of $82.2 million. “This well-deserved award from the SBA highlights the important work the great team at the ASBTDC does every day to help Northwest Arkansas-based small businesses and entrepreneurs. This important service is a great example of how the U of A is positively impacting Arkansas’ economy on a daily basis.”