Small business development center located in Radford again

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Photo by Ethan Bell
The Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center office has an office in Radford again. The office is located at Radford University in Kyle Hall, where the college of business is also located.

Heather Bell

RADFORD – Years after the Radford office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) closed, the City of Radford has an office of the assistance center once again.

Radford used to have an SBDC office on East Main Street, and now Davis College of Business on Radford University’s campus in Kyle Hall is its new home. The office is a satellite office to the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development.

Radford Mayor David Horton says he feels this is good news for the Radford economy.

“The re-establishment of the Small Business Development Center in Radford is wonderful for the business community,” Horton said. “This resource will continue to help our economy grow.The SBDC is a wonderful resource and I’m pleased that Radford University and the Davis College of business have worked hard to bring it back to our community.

“This resource is but one of many great support systems that will continue to expand the Radford economy and help it achieve its full potential,” Horton continued. “We look forward to the outstanding efforts of the SBDC with our local businesses and many new enterprises that are on the horizon.”

The mission of SBDCs is to promote small business creation, growth, and development by providing professional business counseling at no charge to the client, [as well as] affordable training and informational resources,” according to the Roanoke Regional Small Business Development Center.

“We assist small businesses, individuals purchasing or selling a business, not-for-profits, and aspiring business owners,”reads the RRSBDC website. “We are able to offer these services at no or minimal cost due to the support of our sponsors.

Radford University President Dr. Brian Hemphill says the SBDC office is a great example of a community partnership for the university.

“Economic development and community partnerships are key tenets of Radford University’s mission as a public institution and are clearly defined in our strategic plan,” said Hemphill. “By fostering relationships and a culture of service within and beyond our community, Radford University significantly contributes to strengthening the economic landscape and workforce needs of the region.”

Davis College of Business and Economics Dean Joy Bhadury, Ph.D. said the center can also offer a valuable resource for the business students at the university.

“We are proud to host the SBDC in our building. Not only does this provide local entrepreneurs with ready access to business counseling and assistance, it provides significant partnership with the expertise of the Davis College,” said Bhadury. “Business problems faced by entrepreneurs and regional companies can serve as a foundation of experiential projects that provide invaluable learning experiences for our students.”

Radford University’s renewed partnership with the Roanoke Regional SDBC was made possible due to the engagement of administrators, faculty and staff and led by Senior Advisor for Economic Development Richard S. Alvarez,” according to information released by RU.

“In 2018, the Roanoke Regional SBDC served more than 300 clients and provided more than 1,100 hours of counseling. More than 60 percent of its clients were existing businesses, and nearly 40 percent were startups. SBDC engagement resulted in more than $3.2 million in capital investment in client businesses.

Roanoke Regional SBDC Director Keith Hartman says the partnership with Radford is good for the local economy

“Small businesses have an overwhelming impact on a region,” said Hartman. “They are the backbone of the economy, the core of the community and produce most of the jobs that are created. It is gratifying that Radford University is our partner in advancing the strength of the local community and its economy.”

The RRSBDC serves Alleghany County, Botetourt County, City of Covington, Craig County, Floyd County, Giles County, Montgomery County, Pulaski County, Radford City, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, and Salem City.

The Radford office is located on the second floor of Kyle Hall in Room 255. Appointments are available upon request. Contact Cheryl Tucker for more information at ctucker@roanokesmallbusiness.org or call 540-597-5526.