Small business development centers, including 22 in Maine, could get a $40 million increase in annual funding over the next four years under legislation proposed by U.S. Representatives Jared Golden, D-Maine 2nd District , and Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn.
The Small Business Development Centers Enhancement Act of 2022 calls for increased annual funding to enable centers to do more to publicize their programs and services.
“I’ve met so many small business owners in Maine who have told me that small business development centers are essential to getting their business off the ground,” Golden said in a news release Monday. “From Fort Kent to Machias to South Paris, SBDCs are present in communities across our state helping family businesses develop business plans, secure financing and plan for growth.”
Rep. American Jared Golden, D-Maine 2nd District
Small Business Development Centers help small businesses with low-cost or no-cost training and consulting services in areas such as business plan development, marketing and sales, e-commerce and small business strategic planning. Maine has one main SBDC located at the University of Southern Maine.
In 2021, small business development centers across the state served nearly 3,000 business owners and entrepreneurs trying to start, grow or maintain a business, said Mark Delisle, director of SBDC Maine.
In 1977, USM was one of eight pilot sites funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration to test the concept of mobilizing federal, state, and higher education resources to help entrepreneurs and stimulate economic growth.