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2/18/2012 2:57:00 PM
Southwest Indiana Business Development Center claims $3.2 million impact on region

Carol Wersich, Evansville Courier & Press

—An annual report by the Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center offers a bright economic outlook with the center's estimated economic impact of $3.2 million on the region during 2011 and its creation or retention of 143 jobs in the area.

The center's portfolio from last year also reveals it had 178 active clients and helped create 17 new businesses.

The economic impact numbers include increased sales, loans secured and equity capital invested in businesses by the clients.

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana, the center supports local entrepreneurs in establishing strong businesses and creating quality jobs for area residents in Vanderburgh, Posey, Warrick, Spencer, Perry, Gibson, Pike and Knox counties in Indiana.

The small business development center's overarching mission is to have a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth and sustainability of small businesses and to develop a vibrant entrepreneurial community, with strategic partnerships with organizations and businesses throughout the region.

"Creating a supportive entrepreneurial environment and providing tools that help innovators make their ideas a reality are essential to Indiana's economic success," said Dan Hasler, Indiana secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

"The Indiana Economic Development Corp. looks to the Southwest Indiana Small Business Development Center to lead this charge," he said.

The center is particularly well known for its low-cost training seminars, conducted by industry experts in marketing, financing, budgeting, business development to technology, innovation, social media, human resources and legal system.

In 2011, it conducted 35 of the training seminars with a total of 420 attendees.

All counseling services provided by the center are offered free, made possible by state and federal funding and financial support from the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana.

Scott Wylie, the center's advisory board chairman, said when he relocated to the Tri-State seven years ago, a goal of his was to become involved with efforts to improve the quality of life in the region.

"One of the ways I have worked to accomplish that goal has been my involvement with our SBDC."

Wylie said, "With our clients' successes come so much more ... perhaps a new business-supporter for a local charity, maybe a new sponsor for that girls' soccer team or maybe someone who has created something totally unique to our region."

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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