Lissa Jollick, center, holds the Ohio University SBDC's Excellence and Innovation Award at the Ohio Small Business Development Centers award ceremony.

Ohio University SBDC named Excellence & Innovation Center of the Year

SBDC’s expansion boosts economic development

M.C. Tilton
June 30, 2016

Following an enormously successful fiscal year, the Ohio University Small Business Development Center (Ohio University SBDC) was honored with the Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award on May 5, 2016 from the Ohio Small Business Development Centers.

The award recognizes an SBDC that meets or exceeds milestones in categories such as client engagement, new business creation, capital infusion, and innovation within programming and publications. The Ohio University SBDC has consistently met and exceeded their goals. In the 2015 fiscal year, the Center metrics included creating 16 businesses and 65 jobs and counseling clients for more than 2,000 hours, as well as attaining a 100 percent customer satisfaction score.

The Ohio University SBDC provides consulting and support to a wide array of businesses in Perry, Hocking, Athens and Meigs counties and is hosted through the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. It assists both startup and existing businesses in a wide range of areas including capital access, business planning, market planning/research, financial analysis and budgeting. The Center supports the rural Appalachian region, which faces economic obstacles that staff members are constantly working to improve.

“Our region has unique demographics in comparison to the rest of the state of Ohio,” Lynn Gellermann, executive director of TechGROWTH Ohio and the Center for Entrepreneurship, said. “Considering those factors, it is impressive that our SBDC has consistently exceeded the metric goals mandated by the state. They provide a strong team for supporting small business owners.”

The Ohio University SBDC hosts free training and educational opportunities such as monthly Lunch and Learn sessions based on the needs of attendees. In the 2015 fiscal year, the Center’s goal was eight training events with 100 attendees; its actual metrics were 39 events and 472 attendees. Topics included tax changes, succession planning, operating agreements, and beginning and advanced QuickBooks.

Center Director Lissa Jollick was the SBDC Director with the most counseling hours statewide in 2014. Jollick participated on the statewide strategic planning committee. She is also a founding member of the Entrepreneurial Development Group in Athens County, which joins together members of varied organizations throughout the county to identify solutions for area businesses.

“The SBA 2015 Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Award recognizes the valuable, high quality counseling the Ohio SBDC provides to our clients,” Jollick said. “The recognition can help to build awareness that the SBDC is an important resource to the business community.”

In an effort to encourage local business growth and expansion, Jollick entered the Ohio University SBDC in a pilot project for intensive market research projects, leading the Center to develop the “Guide to Performing Market Research.” The guide is intended to be used by all Centers to provide comprehensive, consistent, high-quality deliverables to businesses.