Guests will include state and local government officials, representatives of area Chambers of Commerce, Middlesex County economic development officials and members of the local Hispanic, Asian Indian and Sikh American business communities.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rutgers Business School will help make it possible for Middlesex County businesses to have easier access to the services of a Small Business Development Center.
Rutgers will share money from its long-time corporate supporter Ernst & Young and provide space for the center in some of its offices on Rutgers University's Livingston Campus. In exchange, the school hopes to strengthen its ties to the diverse collection of businesses in Middlesex County and provide students with unique learning opportunities.
The state's Small Business Development Centers – there are a total of 12 scattered across New Jersey and hundreds more throughout the country – provide a range of services, from training workshops to assisting new and small business owners identify potential sources of capital financing. The centers are considered critical to nurturing small businesses and supporting entrepreneurs, which remain vital to individual state economies and their efforts to create and retain jobs.
According to a report issued last year by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the national network of Small Business Development Centers helped to start 13,351 new businesses in 2011. It was also credited with creating more than 61,000 jobs and increasing sales by $4.7 billion.
Elayne McClaine, who will move from her position at the Small Business Development Center in Newark to run the New Brunswick office, said Middlesex is the second largest county in the state for businesses in "growth mode."
The county has been served for years by a Small Business Development Center located at the College of New Jersey, miles away in Mercer County. In addition to support from Rutgers Business School (RBS), existing Small Business Administration monies are being used to launch the new center.
"Middlesex County needed a center that could focus on it 100 percent," McClaine said. "This represents a huge opportunity for new businesses as well as more-established businesses that are in need of a Small Business Development Center's economic development services."
The center's presence on the Livingston Campus also will help enrich students by strengthening Rutgers Business School's experiential learning program. The program gives junior and senior business school students an opportunity to put their knowledge into practice by working with real business owners on actual marketing, accounting and business development issues.
The partnership has proven to work in the past.
For decades, RBS students in Newark have gained practical business experience by working with small businesses in the local center for Essex County, the SBDC at Rutgers-Newark, said Rutgers Business School Dean Glenn Shafer.
"RBS initiated and supported the new SBDC at New Brunswick so that we can provide RBS's New Brunswick students with similar opportunities," Shafer said.
"Providing talent and educational support for businesses throughout the state is part of the mission of the Rutgers Business School," Shafer said. "The SBDC plays an important and very productive role in fulfilling that mission, and it does so in a way that benefits the students whose future is even more central to our mission."
Brenda Hopper, state director of SBDC, said colleges across the state typically host centers, which receive state and federal funding, in hopes of cultivating relationships with businesses.
"We're excited for the students and the businesses in (Middlesex County)," Hopper said.
Tendai Ndoro, the regional director of the Small Business Development Center at Rutgers Newark, said Rutgers Business School recognized the potential of having a center devoted to Middlesex County.
"It's a hyper market – most of the businesses are on a growth path," Ndoro said. "It's a market we needed to be in."
The partnership with the SBDC has benefits all around, Ndoro said. RBS is able to offer a "value-added'' education to its students through the experiential learning program, she said, and business owners will gain an "additional layer of technical assistance" from students working with them.
The center is located at 100 Joyce Kilmer Avenue in the Rutgers Business School annex.
For more information about the event or the center's work, please contact Elayne McClaine, regional director-Middlesex County, New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Telephone: 848-445-8788.
SOURCE Rutgers Business School