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SBA Officials Visit Pennsylvania 2017 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award Winner

Advisory Date: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Advisory Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |
Shippensburg University SBDC recognized May 3 at 10 a.m.

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA– U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta officially introduces SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner, Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center, May 3 at 10 a.m. with Center Director Michael Unruh. Media are invited to attend.

WHO:       Antonio (Tony) Leta, Director, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District

                  Christian Conroy, State Director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers

                  Dr. Barbara Lyman, Shippensburg University Interim President

                  Michael McManus, Director of the Small Business Assistance Network (SBAN), Pennsylvania DCED             

                  Kenny Hauk, SBDC Client and Founder/Owner of Hauk Designs LLC

                  Michael Unruh, Director, Shippensburg University SBDC

WHAT:    Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center is introduced as SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner; media tour, interviews and photo opportunities

WHEN:    May 3 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Shippensburg University SBDC, Grove Hall 405, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, Pa. 17257

“It’s wonderful to have the privilege to recognize the achievements of stellar Pennsylvania small business resource partners like Shippensburg Small Business Development Center and leaders like Michael and Christian,” said Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “SBA resource partners, including the SBDC network, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE help small businesses with everything from drafting business plans to complex management principles. SBA’s resource partners, like Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center, have a lot to be proud of for the help they provide small businesses.”

“The mission of the network of Pennsylvania SBDCs is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper.  Shippensburg SBDC is a leader within the SBDC network,” said Pennsylvania SBDC Network State Director Christian Conroy. “The small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs the SBDC has helped have praised the center for providing the expert resources, tools, education and advice that have helped them to start, grow and prosper. I’m very proud to see SBA recognize the outstanding efforts of Shippensburg SBDC and the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center network.”

“Each year the center helps entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to start and grow successful businesses,” said Shippensburg University SBDC Director Michael Unruh. “While it is a great honor for our SBDC team to win this SBA award in recognition of their talent, dedication, and passion – it’s even greater honor to see the impact of our work in the community: the entrepreneurs we helped to achieve their dream of starting their own businesses in just the past year.”  

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Shippensburg University provides no-cost confidential consulting and low cost training to small business owners and potential entrepreneurs in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties as a member of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers network. The SBDC helps small business owners and potential entrepreneurs make sound decisions for the successful operation of their business. The Shippensburg University SBDC is part of a state-wide network of colleges and university centers which is a joint venture of federal, state, and private sector agencies and organizations including the US Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. Each agency, along with Shippensburg University, contributes to the financial support of the program.

Here are just a few of the businesses who have benefitted from the work of the Shippensburg SBDC team:

  • John and Noemi Halbrendt personify the definition of the growing ranks of encore entrepreneurs. Recently concluding professional careers, they “retired” into winemaking. Noemi attended “First Step” and “Business Planning” workshops she describes as “providing guidance on business planning, regulations and registration, and resources available to the attendees.” She also utilized the SBDC’s consulting assistance for guidance in the management of financial and inventory processes, and in building brand awareness and marketing their wines.
  • Woman-owned business client, Sarah Lorei, is a dentist who the SBDC worked with to start her own dental practice in Enola, PA. Much of the consulting assistance was provided in 2014, including market research, business plan development and financial projections development. Dr. Lorei ultimately secured an SBA-guaranteed loan and opened the doors to her new business in May 2015.
  • Benjamin Brown, a service disabled veteran who served in the Air Force and as a police officer, had achieved his Federal Firearms Certification in pursuing his interest in firearms and firearms safety, and had started an online firearms business. He began working with the SBDC in 2012 and in 2015 the SBDC’s consulting assistance helped him understanding zoning issues, develop a business plan with financial projections that resulted in an SBA-backed loan to open a retail location.

In the past three years the Shippensburg SBDC has also served clients, the region and the university through innovative programs including:

  • The Shippensburg University SBDC continues to maintain close collaborative partnerships with the SBA and other economic development organizations in the region and participates regularly in a panel presentation as part of the "Go-No Go" SCORE workshop series.
  • Shippensburg SBDC joined the Small Business Administration, Community First Fund, City of York and Susquehanna SCORE for "Open for Business In York County: 5 Things Your Need to Do First," an event to introduce technical assistance providers to entrepreneurs currently exploring opening a new business.
  • SBDC Business Consultants present modules of the Boots to Business program offered in Carlisle, PA. Both Consultants were pleased with the response of the audience to their presentations in the March session, noting that there was much audience participation with active questioning throughout the session.

One of 18 Small Business Development Centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC Network and an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers, the SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC consultants may work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities and much more.

SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties and competes with the Pittsburgh District winner to be named Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner for all of Pennsylvania. These events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy.

SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta will present the Small Business Week Awards at the annual “SBA Awards event May 24. The event is open to the media. The “SBA Awards” recognition event will begin at 4:30 p.m. on May 24 with the awards ceremony followed by dinner and networking at the Manor House at Prophecy Creek Park, 205 West Skippack Pike (Rte. 73), Ambler, Pa. 19002.


To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or Authorization #17-0303-67. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact: Patricia Kratz, 610-382-3081 or