WCU’s small business center helps create 175 new jobs in region

Western Carolina University’s Small Business and Technology Development Center helped local companies create 175 jobs and retain an additional 287 employees who would have been laid off in 2007.

Those are among the results highlighted in the center’s annual economic impact report for 2007, released recently.

The summary of the center’s activities from last year also indicates that SBTDC client companies reported increased revenues of $10.3 million in 2007, and obtained nearly $18 million in investment from loans, venture capital and owner investment.

A program of Western’s College of Business, the SBTDC provided more than 4,000 hours of free, one-on-one confidential counseling to 565 clients. Nearly 90 percent of all SBTDC clients in 2007 were small business owners; the remaining were would-be entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations and local governments.

In addition, the SBTDC facilitated 23 applied learning projects connecting WCU faculty and students with the local business community The businesses received assistance from seven professors, 32 graduate students and 36 undergraduate students from Western.

“The SBTDC is proud to have supported the university’s commitment to economic development and regional engagement for the last 24 years,” said Wendy Cagle, SBTDC regional director.

The SBTDC provides comprehensive support to business owners, entrepreneurs and those engaged in economic development in 14 counties of Western North Carolina. For more information about the SBTDC, contact Cagle at (828) 227-3441 or via e-mail at wcagle@sbtdc.org.