Tampa SBDC Receives National Accreditation

Tampa, FL. (June 29, 2010) ? The Florida Small Business Development Center Network (FSBDC), which includes the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of South Florida (USF) has received full accreditation by the national accrediting agency – The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC).

This accreditation helps the SBDC secure continued funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It is also essential for the national SBDC program to be recognized as a high quality economic development organization.

?For more than 34 years, the FSBDC network has assisted entrepreneurs and small business owners from Pensacola to Key West,? stated Eileen Rodriguez, SBDC at USF regional director. ?We are designated as Florida?s principal provider of business assistance and we are pleased to be reaccredited.?

In its 34th year of operation, the FSBDC Network is one of eight original SBDC pilot programs funded by the SBA. The program successfully links resources of the federal, state and local governments with the state?s education system and the private sector to aid in the development and education of Florida?s entrepreneurs and small business community.

In 2009, Florida?s SBDC?s directly attributed to helping their clients open 824 businesses; create or retain 14,550 jobs; secure contract awards worth $375 million; acquire $60 million in capital for business formation and expansion; and enjoy sales growth worth $212 million. Since 1980, the FSBDC Network has assisted more than 3.7 million entrepreneurs and small business owners statewide.

Regionally, the SBDC at USF has assisted more than 168,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners and has created or retained 45,000 jobs.  For more information about the SBDC at USF, please visit www.sbdctampabay.com.