SACRAMENTO – According to a recently completed annual report, California Small Business Development Centers are reporting substantial small business growth in 2011 – helping entrepreneurs create 5,900 new jobs and retain an additional 3,200 jobs that were previously slated for elimination.
Every year, through its 38 individual centers in the state, the California SBDC provides free one-on-one consulting to more than 27,500 entrepreneurs and low-cost training to 38,000 of California’s 1.3 million business owners.
According to the annual report, one key growth area in 2011 was a 55 percent increase in new jobs created in California over 2010. Capital investments also increased to more than $211 million, up from $129.3 million in 2010, resulting in a nearly 40 percent increase in loans and equity for small business clients.
“California Small Business Development Centers are programmed to produce positive economic impacts,” said Priscilla Lopez, state chair of the California SBDC. “The changes from 2010 to 2011, however, were substantial, and primarily attributable to the commitment and investments made by the State of California. We listened to the legislature and were laser-focused on job creation by assisting business owners obtain capital and to increase their sales because that is where job creation originates.”
She added that the state financial assistance was a one-time contribution to the Small Business Development Centers and anticipates that without new resources those reported economic growth areas are likely to decrease next year. For now, she said, the California SBDC is focused on keeping the momentum going and pacing services with client needs. Lopez said additional funding from the Federal Jobs Bill through the U.S. Small Business Administration, and an improving economy also contributed to the 2011 increases.
“At a time when job creation is the highest priority, the Small Business Jobs Act helped the California Small Business Development Center Network (CA SBDC) maximize the number of jobs they created or retained in 2011,” said U.S. SBA District 9 Regional Administrator Elizabeth Echols. “As an important SBA partner, we are proud of the role the California SBDC is playing in our state’s economic recovery.”
Individual centers reported spending more than 100,000 hours assisting small businesses with business plans, loan applications, cash-flow management, government contracting and other needs. As a result of SBDC services, small business clients increased sales by $243.9 million, which resulted in the creation of $37 in new taxable revenue for every $1 invested by the state. Further, clients attributed 815 new business starts to the assistance they received by the California SBDC in 2011.
For more information on the California SBDC or to find a Small Business Development Center near you, go to www.californiasbc.org.