The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has doubled in size and been recognized for a number of achievements over the past two years due in no small part to its move to Miami University Regionals Commerce Hub at Miami's Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester.
Formerly known as the Butler County Small Business Development Center, Ohio SBDC became part of Miami's Commerce Hub in the fall of 2019 and has since expanded its reach with new satellite offices in Clermont, Brown, Clinton, Warren and Hamilton counties.
"Our footprint has grown tremendously, and our staff has increased from two to seven," said David Riggs, director of Ohio SBDC. "We've got a handle on Southwest Ohio. The greater exposure we've gained from our partnership with Miami's Commerce Hub has expanded our reach and brought in more clients."
Over the past two years, Ohio SBDC has led a number of important initiatives that have strengthened opportunities for local businesses and students. Some highlights include:
- Since joining Miami's Commerce Hub, Ohio SBDC has increased its economic impact. So far this fiscal year, it is the No. 1 SBDC office in Ohio for jobs created, No. 2 for capital formation, and No. 3 for business starts, with 27 locations reporting. No other SBDC office in the state has made it to the top three in all these categories.The team has been instrumental in the start of 32 businesses and the creation of 238 jobs since October.
- The SBDC's first-ever Latino Business Boot Camp attracted record interest, exceeding available capacity. The program covers business basics from concept to legal requirements, costs, and marketing. This year, ten local Latino business owners attended the first Hispanic Business Awards in Columbus.
- Miami Regionals has applied to become a participating university in the Ohio Export Internship Program, which offers valuable internship experience with export companies throughout the state. The program began through a partnership between Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Development, and it has since expanded to include 4 universities across Ohio.
- Riggs was recognized by the Ohio SBDC network as its 2021 State Star. The award cited Riggs' efforts to transfer hosting responsibilities to Miami University Regionals, successfully absorbing Clermont County SBDC, and forming the Southwestern Ohio SBDC marketing collaborative. He also oversaw the successful launch of new satellite offices in Oxford (102 West High Street), Liberty Township, and Clinton County, and increased the Middletown branch office in size and visibility.
- So far this fiscal year, the center has assisted more than 360 clients through thousands of hours of counseling and research. The results include over $20 million in total sales growth, roughly $57,000 per client.
Hosting the Ohio SBDC has proven to be a valuable partnership for the Commerce Hub, noted Ted Light, chair of the Commerce Department at Miami Regionals. Commerce is one of the most popular majors at Miami Regionals, with more than 700 students. Adding the SBDC gives students a competitive advantage in a marketplace that is always changing.