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Alliance Small Business Development Center Selected for the Central California 2011 Excellence and Innovation Award

Release Date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Friday, May 13, 2011
Advisory Number: 
Melende Ward (559) 487-5791 ext 2709


National Small Business Week May 16-20, 2011


MODESTO, CA - The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Fresno District Office announced today that the Alliance Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Modesto has been selected to receive the 2011 Central California Excellence and Innovation Award.    

The Alliance SBDC and Center Director Kurtis Clark will be honored during a special event honoring small businesses and being hosted by the UC Merced Small Business Development Center Regional Network on May 17, 2011 in Fresno. To register for the award luncheon and presentation please contact Mark Torres at 559-241-7406 or

The Excellence and Innovation Award honors a SBDC for its excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation.  Among the many characteristics examined are a Center’s record of new business creation, capital infusion, counseling success, job creation, and program and training innovation.

"The Alliance SBDC was selected to receive this award for its record of success, innovation and economic impact.  The staff and consultants have been particularly creative in devising new ways to deliver training and services to entrepreneurs in our current economic times,” said SBA District Director Carlos G. Mendoza.

The Alliance SBDC is part of the UC Merced SBDC Regional Network funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration.   SBDC centers serve thousands of clients annually through business training programs and free, one-on-one confidential counseling by consultants who use their real-life business ownership and management experience to offer practical and relevant advice.  The center serves the counties of Stanislaus, Merced, Tuolumne and Mariposa. 

Upon notification that the Alliance SBDC was selected for the award Director Clark said, “In these difficult economic times all SBDC's in California are working especially hard to help our small business clients survive and thrive. I am honored to receive this recognition on behalf of the Alliance SBDC and the dedicated efforts of our amazing staff and consultants. "

The center offers counseling and workshops in both Spanish and English, and offers expertise in accounting, marketing, technology, import/export, procurement and financial analysis.  These are in addition to the fundamentals of business plan development, marketing strategies, research, patents, procurement registration and personnel management.  All counseling services are free and confidential and are available to individuals, small businesses and for-profit organizations.

“Under the Center’s direction and leadership of Kurtis Clark, the small business community receives tremendous benefits.  The center’s innovative ideas and teamwork spirit have set a standard throughout the UC Merced SBDC network and other California SBDC networks,” stated Diane Howerton, Regional Director.

Between 2008-2010 alone the center helped 64 new business startups and helped small business access over $7.8 million in loans or investment.  The SBDC has been instrumental in the development of several leading events including the Stanislaus Business Forum, Patent & Trademarks Workshops and Human Resource Management to Layoff Aversion programs.

For additional information:

Kurtis Clark, Director                                                               Diane Howerton, Regional Director

Alliance SBDC                                                                         UC Merced SBDC Regional Network

1020 10th Street, Suite 102                                                   550 E. Shaw Avenue, Suite 100

Modesto, CA  95354                                                               Fresno, CA  93710

(209) 567-4910                                                                       (559) 241-6590