Penn State Small Business Development Center clients earn statewide award nods

Three small businesses in central Pennsylvania that seek guidance from the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are finalists for the annual Governor’s Impact Awards.

Brian Hoopsick’s company, PSR Inc., based in Philipsburg, Centre County, is nominated as a finalist for the Entrepreneur Impact Award. Hoopsick has been a client with SBDC since 2008. PSR Inc. is a nationally recognized repair depot for the consumer electronics industry, fixing approximately 200 electronic devices per day as part of extended warranty contracts.

According to the Governor’s Impact Award website, this award is given to an entrepreneur who has led a company to a position of strength using creativity, innovation and managerial ability, among other skills.

Hoopsick’s business specializes in expert repair of Apple products and game consoles. His employees also diagnose problems and repair cell phones, tablets and other electronics. He opened up shop in 1988.

“I’ve always wanted to do this. I like to see what makes things click,” Hoopsick said. “Then I see if I can take a machine apart and successfully put it back together so it continues to click.”

PSR Inc. experienced rapid growth and then just-as-rapid downsizing over a three-year period and SBDC consultants helped Hoopsick expand and then ultimately regroup, all while guiding him as he maintained control of his business.

“Brian responded to fluctuations in the market by offering a unique and innovative set of services that will be an asset to other entrepreneurs and small businesses in this region,” said Maria Spencer, business consultant and team lead for entrepreneurship at Penn State Small Business Development Center. “This is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Those new services include a turnkey manufacturing service for small business clients, in addition to the repair facility.

“He has already helped one new business start and grow by providing the services that new, product-based businesses struggle with: the availability of small production runs, warehouse space, packing and shipping assistance, and even full service warranty repairs,” Spencer said. “This unique business model is creating jobs and new business in the Centre Region.”

Governor Tom Corbett, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Team Pennsylvania Foundation created the Governor’s Impact Award program to recognize Pennsylvania companies and individuals who are making a difference in the commonwealth by creating and maintaining jobs.

Two other Penn State SBDC clients are finalists: AcousticSheep LLC, headquartered in Bellefonte, Centre County, is nominated for an Export Impact Award, and Webster’s Bookstore and Café in State College received a nod for the Community Impact Award.

The winners will be announced at the Governor’s Impact Awards luncheon on Friday, May 30, in Hershey.

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Last Updated May 27, 2014