Gannon SBDC's Strong 2017 Performance Fuels Optimism for 2018

Posted: February 8, 2018

While cutbacks at large employers dominated the local headlines in 2017, another trend was quietly making itself felt:  small businesses continue to be established and to grow. That's among the good news coming from the Gannon University Small Business Development Center (Gannon SBDC).

During the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 39,689 businesses employing fewer than 500 persons in the four-county area (Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Warren) served by Gannon SBDC. According to Margaret U. Horne, director of Gannon SBDC, that number is likely to increase. "Last year, over 200 people attended our First Step seminars.  Not all of them will go on to start their own businesses, but many of them will, and that adds to the vibrancy of the regional economy."

Horne and her staff of four consultants are uniquely positioned to perceive economic trends in small business activity.  Since its founding in 1981, Gannon SBDC has been a trusted and primary resource for regional entrepreneurs, who are serviced from offices in Erie, Greenville and Meadville.

Those consultants work with entrepreneurs in confidential, individualized sessions to help them with a range of business issues, such as testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities, and more. In 2017, they provided more than 4,700 hours of counseling services to 380 clients in the four-County service area.

Gannon SBDC clients received more than $22 million in capital formation in 2017.  That amount is more than was recorded by any of the 17other regional centers, including those in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and represents one-sixth of the total capital funds secured by clients throughout the Pennsylvania SBDC network.

As a consequence of these and other efforts, 40 new businesses were founded, creating 132 new jobs.

In Horne's estimation, current trends point to continued strength in new business formation and growth for existing businesses in the region.

Gannon University Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK)

Gannon University announces the launch of the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge (I-HACK).