With funding for SDBCs on the chopping block at both the state and federal level, the SBA has documented the SBDCs’ impact in a new report. It appears entrepreneurs definitely visit the SBDCs — more than 500,000 of them in 2010, the study found — and the business owners report the resources there helped their businesses thrive.
One of the biggest advantages users of SBDCs gained was knowledge of how to get a business loan. There’s also good crossover with business education, as many of the centers are hosted on college campuses.
But the whole system is under threat, in part because of cuts in education at the state level. Supporters worry that no other organization will arise if the SBDC network goes away that would share the SBA’s commitment to minority and women business owners and distressed inner-city neighborhoods where new business creation is desperately needed.