NWI SBDC Partnership Boosts Starke, Pulaski Business Community

By: Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center Last Updated: February 3, 2011

Ron_Gifford_Head_Shot.jpgThe Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center has teamed with the Starke County Economic Development Foundation to further strengthen the small business community in Starke and Pulaski counties. The partnership brings an elevated component of services to the Foundation’s Small Business Center, which has been assisting small business owners since launching in May of 2008.

“The efforts of the SBDC coupled with the Small Business Center will just enhance our ability to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and small business persons in Starke and Pulaski counties,” said Charles Weaver, executive director of the Foundation. “Our mission is to work with the local guys who want to get started in business along with the area’s big businesses.”

NWI SBDC Regional Director LeAnn McCrum said the partnership is an opportunity for both agencies to be stronger assets to residents.

“It is our intention to do a better job serving Starke and Pulaski counties this year. In the past, limited resources have prevented the NWI SBDC from having a strong presence in either county,” McCrum said. “Together, we will be able to provide more resources to the communities than either one could individually.”

The Foundation’s Ron Gifford will be working directly with clients as a business advisor for the SBDC. Gifford practiced law for 32 years, having worked primarily with businesses.

Gifford sees the collaboration as a way to further serve small business owners by having at hand key SBDC resources while advising clients.

“It is a nice fit because it gives us additional tools to make us even more effective,” Gifford said. He will be based out of the Foundation’s offices in Knox, 4 North Main St.

Serving seven counties in the region, the NWI SBDC offers free assistance for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their businesses. Through one-on-one consulting, the NWI SBDC helps guide small businesses toward their goals by offering referrals, workshops, training opportunities and other essential business tools. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Small Business Administration, the State of Indiana and other local partners.

For more information, visit www.nwisbdc.org.

SCEDF is a not-for-profit Local Economic Development Organization providing economic development opportunities on behalf of Starke County, the City of Knox, and the Towns of North Judson, and Hamlet through the development of industrial parks, rail spurs, Greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites, infrastructure and workforce development. For more information, visit www.scedf.biz.