SBDC made economic impact and helped award winning entrepreneurs in 2014

May 01, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.—Lydia Myers, owner of Pick ‘em Up Productions and Rugrats Resale, struggled to set up her first business when she moved to State College from Virginia.

“In Pennsylvania, I couldn’t figure out what forms I should fill out or who I needed to talk to. I finally learned about the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), set up a meeting and literally by the end of the day, I had my employee ID number,” she said.

The SBDC specializes in assisting entrepreneurs start, improve or expand a business by providing free, confidential consulting services. Myers worked with Linda Feltman, senior consultant at the SBDC, to start her first venture and again recently to purchase Rugrats Resale. Myers was familiar with the business — a website and bi-annual sale to recycle children's clothing and toys — but not the process of purchasing and running it herself.

“They were able to help us navigate through all the paperwork and made sure all the ‘i’s’ were dotted and the ‘t’s’ were crossed,” Myers said.

In 2014, the SBDC assisted more than 500 clients in Centre and Mifflin counties. The services and seminars offered by the SBDC helped to start 23 businesses, create 130 jobs and secure more than $3.3 million in financing opportunities.

Michelle Mierwald, owner of Sweet Heat Gourmet, said the SBDC not only assisted with launching her business, but also helped her continue to create awareness about her products and expand into new retail space.

“The vote of confidence that comes with the backing of the staff at the SBDC, as well as Linda personally, has really helped me get my foot in the door with local businesses who know and trust the SBDC,” Mierwald said.

Several businesses that worked closely with the SBDC have been recognized recently on a state and national level.

Sweet Heat Gourmet, Otto’s Pub and Brewery and The UPS Store have all been nominated for the 2015 Governor’s ImPAct Awards.

Jim and Colleen Small — owners of the UPS Store in State College and Altoona — were named the Pittsburgh Region’s Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

David Letterman, owner of Bonfatto’s in Bellefonte, was chosen by the Food Network to appear on a recent episode of Food Fortunes.

For more information, visit the Penn State SBDC online.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 19, 2015