November 04, 2015

SEDALIA—State Fair Community College plans to establish a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on its Sedalia campus to serve entrepreneurs and small businesses in the college’s 14-county service region.

The Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the program for one year with an option to renew the contract for three more years. It will operate through SFCC’s The LearningForce and will be a part of Missouri’s network of centers, made possible by a funding partnership through the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), the University of Missouri Extension and SFCC.

Jessica L. Craig, director of The LearningForce, said there are major benefits to having the center on SFCC’s campus.

“It will create resources for SFCC students with entrepreneurial interests; create synergies with the LearningForce in business outreach, training, administration, and class management; and provide access to SBA curriculum for continuing education classes,” said Craig. “It also will bring in additional revenue, serve as the regional resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs and provide training classes marketed on and published with the state’s SBDC training calendar.”

Craig said this is the ideal time for SFCC to host a new Small Business Development Center in light of new census data that shows Missouri is leading the nation in new business creation.

Gov. Jay Nixon recently said, “In 2013, a total of 1,293 more businesses were created in Missouri than in 2012, an increase of more than 16 percent. Over the same time period, 39 states saw a decrease in new business creation. Of the states that did see an increase in the number of new businesses, Missouri outperformed them dramatically—experiencing a bigger growth in new business creation than all 10 of those states combined.”

The center’s annual budget will be about $122,000. Fifty percent of the funding will be provided by an SBA grant, which requires matching funds consisting of cash and indirect contributions. For a one-year contract, the college’s annual cash contribution will be $37,245. The college plans to hire a full-time counselor/coordinator to oversee operations.

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