Central Region SBDC at UB's Merrick School

09-Mar-2011 | News-Press Release

COLLEGE PARK, MD-- The Central Region office of the Maryland Small Business Development
Center Network (SBDC) at the University of Baltimore's Merrick
School of Business, was recently named one of the nation's top 10 SBDC's by Inc.
. The Central Region office was listed by the publication as
one of the most active and influential small business development
centers across the country-providing exceptional support for their local
entrepreneurial communities. Kiesha Haughton-Smoots, director of the
center, was credited for bringing new
energy and a risk-taking edge that helped transform the SBDC into one of
the nation's best. Since she came on board, businesses that worked with the
Central Region, generated $33 million in sales in fiscal 2010-up from $8
million in the previous year.
Smoots is
delighted to have shepherded the region into a new era.
"I tried to do away with that bureaucratic, it-has-to-be-this-way
mindset," says Smoots, who has revamped everything from the way counselors
advise businesses ("Focus on your area of expertise and refer to other
counselors when necessary"), to how the SBDC reports its performance to
the Small Business Administration
. The Central Region SBDC
covers 40 percent of the businesses in Maryland, including those in Baltimore
and its neighboring counties. The area is a hub for government
contractors and life sciences companies, among other industries. "The
transition to the Merrick School of Business provided an opportunity for a
collaborative relationship to be forged between the Entrepreneurial Opportunity
Center (EOC) and the Central Region SBDC," says Smoots. "This
relationship has allowed us to utilize the expertise of faculty and staff to
service not only the alumni
students, but the local small business community as

The SBDC network headquarters, located at the
University of Maryland provides counseling, training and resources through 6
regional offices throughout the state. For more information about the
Central Region SBDC,
visit our website
at www.centralmdsbdc.org.

Immediate Release

Contact: Lori Ford



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