UGA Small Business Development Center Among Georgia Trend’s Best Places to Work

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center is one of Georgia Trend magazine’s 2016 “Best Places to Work in Georgia.”

The evaluation, conducted by the Best Companies Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, looks at employees’ views on leadership and planning, corporate culture and communications, role satisfaction, work environment, and overall engagement.

“Typical of UGA’s outreach programs, SBDC staff are recognized statewide for their expertise and responsiveness to local needs,” said Jennifer Frum, vice president for UGA’s Public Service and Outreach unit, which oversees the SBDC. “It isn’t surprising that this UGA unit was named a great place to work. UGA’s strong commitment to outreach has helped build an environment for success.”

The SBDC program has 17 locations across Georgia and works with about 4,000 individual business owners and prospective entrepreneurs each year. In the past five years, SBDC-assisted firms have created more than 11,000 jobs, acquired more than $600 million in expansion and start-up capital, created more than 1,500 new businesses and are responsible for $8.9 billion in total sales. The most recent economic impact studies indicate that SBDC clients experience annual sales growth of 19.7 percent and employment growth of 19.6 percent.

Columbus-area office director Mark Lupo cited reasons why employees like working at the SBDC.

“We have a unique environment where we are free to be creative, developing ideas, initiatives and skill sets that contribute to a positive impact in the communities in which we live,” Lupo said. “And we do all of this with the friendship and collaboration of a great team of colleagues across the state.”

“We are very fortunate to have an amazing statewide team,” said SBDC State Director Allan Adams. “All of our staff are hired from the private sector and we help them become business educators. Our employees derive a great deal of satisfaction from helping others learn and see business owners succeed.”