SBDCs Recognized in the United State Senate on SBDC Day

Statement in the Congressional Record
By Senators Jim Risch and Jeanne Shaheen
Chairman and Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committe on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, on behalf of myself and my colleague Senator Shaheen, I would like to recognize the contributions made to our nation and its small businesses by the good work of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ranking Member Shaheen and I understand the impact that boosting small businesses makes, with 99.7 percent of all firms across America being small businesses and their employees making up 48 percent of the total workforce.

America’s SBDCs provide small businesses across the country with high-quality, low- or no-cost consulting, and a variety of educational programs. These centers operate in all 50 States to support an established network of small businesses while encouraging new entrepreneurs to develop and execute their unique vision, helping innovators get their own small businesses up and running.

SBDCs are successful because they provide the services of a large consulting firm on a locally scaled level in areas that may go unnoticed by other programs. They provide tailored, individualized attention to over 450,000 entrepreneurs a year, which resulted in $6.9 billion in new sales in 2015. That same year, America’s Small Business Development Centers aided in the creation of over 100,000 jobs, and the small businesses they serve averaged a growth rate of 15.5 percent, which is nearly eight times the national average.

One of many success stories that can be told is that of Velma, a marketing software firm in Nampa, ID. Founded in 2006, the firm focused on empowering loan officers to create stronger relationships through a customized direct email program. The recession of 2008 hit Velma hard, and in 2010, the company entered into the SBDC business accelerator program. The structure of the program provided organizational discipline, and the firm pivoted to providing email marketing for mortgage companies. Since the firm began participating in the accelerator program, Velma has quadrupled its employees and created a sustained positive cash flow.

It is a privilege for my colleague and I to recognize SBDC Day today, March 22, 2017, and we wish them continued success as they work to support the next generation of America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, it is a privilege to join Chairman Risch as we celebrate the first ever Small Business Development Center Day, which will unite the more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers, SBDCs, across the country with the hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs they have assisted in their 37-year history.

Small businesses are the engine of our economy, creating two out of every three new jobs in the United States. As Chairman Risch stated, since 1980, America’s SBDCs have provided these small businesses with high-quality, low- or no-cost consulting, and a variety of educational programs across the country. Together with SBA’s other resource partners–women’s business centers, veterans business outreach centers, and SCORE chapters–SBDCs have enhanced the ability of America’s small businesses to grow and create jobs.

To provide some context for what this means to our economy, the association representing SBDCs estimates that SBDC clients start a new business every 30 minutes, create a new job every 5 minutes, generate $100,000 in new sales every 7.5 minutes, and raise $100,000 in capital every 11 minutes. Job growth for SBDC clients is nearly 10 times greater than job growth for the average business.

Under the leadership of Dr. Richard Grogan, the New Hampshire SBDC State director, New Hampshire SBDCs have helped thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs realize their dreams, start new businesses, and create jobs. Last year alone, New Hampshire SBDC counseled and trained more than 2,500 businesses and assisted in the formation of more than $39 million in capital for New Hampshire’s small businesses.

For example, NH SBDC has been instrumental for Julie Lapham, the founder and chief sales officer of a startup in Dover, NH, called Popzup. Popzup is a family-owned business that provides a new popcorn product for health-conscious consumers. As Julie explained it, her local SBDC helped to prepare her for a Shark Tank-style pitch competition in which she took home a first-prize award of $10,000. They have helped her understand her financing options and continue to stay involved and support her company’s growth.

I hope my colleagues will join me and Chairman Risch in celebrating SBDC Day and acknowledging their local SBDCs for their accomplishments and the role that they play in helping small businesses create jobs.

A Father’s Invention and the Idaho SBDC Grow Healthier Crops

Isaacs Humigation

Blake Isaacs moved back to Idaho to help his father, Garry, grow his business based on an invention he patented nearly a decade ago. The humigator is a tool used for industrial air cleaning, but Garry’s breakthrough came when he realized its value in agriculture – particularly potato storage.

Isaacs HumigationThe humigator allows air to stay clean and potatoes moist, resulting in less plant disease, and since potatoes are sold by weight, supporting a higher sale price. Since its beginning in 2013, Isaacs Humigation Technology (IHT) has more than doubled its sales each year, with humigators now sold in seven states and Canada.

In July of 2016, Blake bought the business from his father, and with the help of the SBDC, recently secured angel investment to speed expansion and research. “Without the SBDC, we would not have had the funding opportunities, grant application support, and excellent referrals that have helped us grow this year. [The SBDC’s] resources are sophisticated enough for our tech business and accessible to anyone,” says Blake Issacs.

The SBDC continues to help IHT with feedback on marketing materials, expansion strategy, and funding options.

To learn more about Isaacs Humigation Technology, visit To learn more about the Idaho SBDC, visit

Turning Shipping Containers Into Restaurants

Shipping Container RestaurantSuccess Story: Long Beach, California

SteelCraft was born from developers Kimberly Gros and Martin Howard’s idea to re-purpose shipping containers from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as counter-service restaurant locations for local artisan food vendors. After more than two years in planning and development, SteelCraft has attracted eight businesses, which have generated more than 60 jobs in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach.

When Long Beach resident Kim Gros first visited the SBDC in 2014, she envisioned re-purposing a shipping container as a counter-service ice cream shop downtown. However, after reviewing projections with the SBDC, which included multiple vendors in one space as opposed to a single vendor, she quickly began to dream bigger.

Impact“The SBDC was a huge part of this success. They kept us dreaming,” said Gros. She re-imagined her vision to include several re-purposed containers that would convene the community through craft food and drinks. The SBDC then helped Kim with her financial projections, her lease agreements for her eight vendors, and assisted her in obtaining a loan for the project.

In addition, the SBDC consultants introduced her to several public officials who offered support and guidance along the way. “Kim had a winning attitude from the start. With a little guidance, she hit the ground running and didn’t stop. SteelCraft is a unique addition to the Bixby Knolls community and is sure to stimulate economic impact now and in years to come,” said Mike Daniel, Regional Director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network, who consulted Gros.  (more…)

Missouri Business Expands International Sales with Help from the Missouri SBTDC ITC

Dr. SolomonSuccess Story: Missouri

BeWell Health, maker of Dr. Hana’s Nasopure Nasal Wash, wanted to expand export sales and add to its international distributor network. So Missouri SBTDC international trade specialists Sandra Marin, Jackie Rasmussen and others helped develop a comprehensive export plan, provided guidelines for distributor agreements, offered advice on export documentation requirements, and made referrals to experts in intellectual property protection and payment.

In December, 2016, the SBTDC’s International Trade Center (ITC) director Larry Dill and international trade specialists Aldis Jakubovskis, Rasmussen, Luis Ortiz and Pablo Arroyo and three Missouri University international business student interns completed additional market research for Nasopure.

The interns and staff reviewed global trade data and economic and industry indicators to identify five promising markets in Asia, North America, Africa and Europe. This dedicated team then researched each country’s business environment, industry trends and regulatory requirements. They also provided the firm with lists of potential customers and distributors in each country.

As a direct result, from 2015-16 the firm experienced:

• Overall sales increase of 40 percent
• Export sales increase of 55 percent
• Increase in employment of 30 percent  (more…)

All in a Day’s Work for BioArray – Genetically Powered Cancer Treatment Selection

Success Story: Connecticut

– Save 65,000 breast cancer patients six months of wasted time and toxic exposure each year
– Direct each person to the right chemotherapy and save the U.S. health care system $1.4 billion in the process
– All in a day’s work for BioArray

BioArrayNo company has cracked the code for choosing the best chemotherapy for an individual patient, despite the broad range of molecular breast cancer tests available today. Trial-and-error is still the mainstream available path. Currently, the majority of patients start their treatment journey with the ‘standard-of-care’, taxane-based regimen. Due to the low response rates to this regimen (25%), when patients are offered the next level of treatment they have already been exposed to side effects for about six months, which is painful for patients (e.g., immune system debilitation, nausea, hair loss and exposure to unnecessary toxicity). Imagine if we knew who was a good candidate for the ‘standard-of-care’ and who should go straight to ‘Plan B’ while their immune systems are still strong.

Enter BioArray Genetics, the Connecticut SBDC’s (CTSBDC’s) own cancer revolutionary. Chemotherapy is not a “one-size-fits-all” process, and precision medicine was Marcia Fournier’s inspiration for founding her biotech company, BioArray Genetics. Marcia’s extensive experience in oncology, as well as her practical and strategic experience in drug discovery, biomarker development, and clinical diagnostics, led to the development of BioArray’s first predictive test (BA100). It saves breast cancer patients potentially life-saving months, by pinpointing the best chemotherapy treatment for each patient based on genetic markers right out of the starting gate, while the patient’s body and immune system are still strong.  (more…)