The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center network has received full accreditation with no conditions, after a review by its national association.
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Jody Keenan, chair of the America’s Small Business Development Centers Accreditation Committee, announced the accomplishment in a Feb. 20 letter.
America’s Small Business Development Centers, the national accrediting body for SBDC programs, reviews each state or regional network every five years. Mandated by Congress, the accreditation review process assures that SBDC programs operate efficiently and effectively. Accreditation is also a requirement to receive federal funding.
The review included general and technology accreditation standards developed and deployed in cooperation with SBDC federal funding partner, the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Accreditation is important for each SBDC network and is essential for the national SBDC program to be recognized as a provider of high-quality business advising and education that results in credible economic impact,” said Keenan, who is state director of the Virginia SBDC.
Keenan and fellow committee member Mike Daniel of California’s Orange County/Inland Empire SBDC visited Arkansas Nov. 7-11 for the on-site portion of the review. Feb. 5, the committee voted to award full accreditation without conditions and cited multiple best practices in its final report.
“Reaccreditation is a significant achievement, and I commend our leadership team and network staff for their commitment to helping small businesses start, grow and thrive,” said Laura Fine, ASBTDC state director. “We are extremely proud of never having any conditions with any of our accreditation reviews, spanning back decades.”
In Arkansas, the lead center is part of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business, Health, and Human Services. Nine institutions host regional offices: Arkansas State University, ASU Mid-South, ASU-Mountain Home, Arkansas Tech University, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Arkansas campuses at Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Monticello and Pine Bluff. The service areas are seen below.
The ASBTDC network assisted Arkansas small businesses with obtaining more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in capital investment ($804,624,250) over the last decade, including an all-time best $102 million in 2022. Over the last 10 years, the ASBTDC network helped clients create 18,132 jobs.
The latest America's SBDC Annual Report showcases a sampling of Arkansas entrepreneurs and business owners assisted by the center:
Jason and Vanessa Ellingburg – The Ellingburg Farm, Charleston
Lawrence Teasley and Brandon Mack – Retro City Sneaker Boutique, El Dorado
Brittany Scott – SMART Repro, Jonesboro
Collin Whittington – Morii, Fayetteville
Mark McManis, Dale McManis, and Fred Perkins – NeuroMedPro, Little Rock
Jason Piazza – Hugo’s, Fayetteville
Isaac Traylor – 3-I Pressure Washing and Detail, North Little Rock
Scott Tavegia – Little T's Mini Golf & More, Mountain Home
Cody McPherson – Crumbl Cookies, Jonesboro
Sally Mengel – Loblolly Creamery, Little Rock
ASBTDC serves emerging, existing and expanding small businesses. Learn more at asbtdc.org.
Publisher’s note: ArkansasNewsroom.com is a client of the ASBTDC.