Best in Business

Northwest Texas Small Business Development Center earned national recognition from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Founded in 1987, the Northwest Texas SBDC Region Network serves as a resource for 95 counties on the South Plains, with sub centers in Amarillo, Lubbock, Stephenville, Abilene, Odessa and Wichita Falls.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) named the Northwest Texas Small Business Development Center (NWTSBDC) as the SBDC national center of the year during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award is based on the center's success in helping launch new small businesses and expand existing businesses. The center has helped 5,800 new small businesses creating about 50,000 new jobs in the region. "I've always thought we were pretty good, and this award is a credit to everyone who works here," said Craig Bean, executive director of the NWTSBDC.

Experience Counts

"Each one of our counselors has small business experience and that gives us an advantage in advising our clients." This is the first time the SBA has given this award. Centers did not submit applications, rather the SBA reviewed data submitted by each of 63 SBDC offices nationwide and selected the winner. In 2007, the NWTSBDC counselors helped 411 businesses open, creating 1,653 jobs. "The SBA is pleased to honor the Northwest Texas Small Business Development Center as the Small Business Development Center of the Year," said Anoop Prakash, SBA associate administrator for entrepreneurial development. "The center has truly been a leader, advocate and champion of small businesses in its region, demonstrated by its outstanding performance in contributing to new business starts and access to capital. Their contributions in educating, training and opening doors for entrepreneurs have been a catalyst for small business success, which is the engine that drives our country's economy."

Entrepreneurs Wanted

Anyone with a desire to open their own business can access the services of NWTSBDC counselors, which includes free guidance on everything from finances to marketing. However, sometimes the best advice counselors offer is not to open a business. "We don't always have good news for people. Often they just are not ready to open a business," Bean said. "But we don't just say no. We offer advice on what they need to do to get to opening day. We can suggest financing sources or point them toward training programs, whatever they need to have a chance at success." The Lubbock SBDC, hosted by Texas Tech, provides business counseling, technical assistance, training workshops and business plan development for small businesses in a 15 county area. Learn more at their Web site. Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 742-2136.
More Honors for Texas Tech SBDC

2007 SBA Women in Business Champion

Erika Langill is the owner of Get Ahead Works, a consulting firm offering empowerment, motivation and educational services to companies and individuals. Erika focuses on empowering individuals through consulting, training and workshops.

Her active involvement in the Lubbock community and with women entrepreneurs keeps her in touch with current issues. Erika is an asset to her community and, most importantly, to women in business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the nation’s largest financial backer of small businesses.

America's 25 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the private workforce, generate more than half the nation’s gross domestic product and are the principal source of new jobs in the U.S. economy.