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SBDC at JCC named NY State Center of Excellence of the Year by SBA

From left to right: Jennifer Wedzik, Holger Ekanger, Grant Umberger, Elisabeth Rankin, Jacqueline Phelps, Daniel DeMarte, Victoria Reynolds, Brian Rovegno, Courtney Curatolo, Dan Hickman, Beth Reed, Mark Geise, Lisa Vanstrom, Scott Miller.

The Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College was recently recognized as the US Small Business Administration Atlantic Region SBDC Center of Excellence of the Year during Small Business Week.

Since their start in 1986, the expert advisors at the Small Business Development Center at JCC have worked with close to 12,000 businesses in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, helping them invest more than $146,500,000 in the region’s economy, and create or save nearly 8,000 jobs.

The Small Business Development Center at JCC, which has focused on innovation for several years, created the Online Business Academy at smallbusinessacademy.thinkific.com. The program offers various webinars and certifications, most of which are free and can be viewed from anywhere at any time. Classes focus on intellectual property, social media marketing on different platforms, e-commerce, tax law updates, zoning law basics, OSHA regulations, agri-tourism, succession planning, and a social media certification course.

“The certification in social media has been invaluable to those who have taken the course due to the knowledge gained and strategies offered in using social media platforms for marketing small businesses,” said Courtney Curatolo, Small Business Development Center director. “We have had individuals from New York to California taking courses on our academy.”

The Small Business Development Center also provides a social media internship program to small businesses collaborating with JCC students. Student interns work with small businesses in Chautauqua County to implement their social media marketing goals. The program will be expanded to Cattaraugus County soon. Several businesses have experienced robust sales since engaging with the Small Business Development Center. One business increased its website traffic by 1,000% and increased staff by nine full-time employees.

For over a decade, the Small Business Development Center at JCC has also offered the Women in Networking program, which encourages participants to come together to share ideas and find solutions to various challenges. Since the pandemic, the program has gone online and allowed more women throughout the region to participate.

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