Blinn College is asking the Texas Legislature to support the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the impact it makes on the Texas economy during the current legislative session.
The Blinn board of trustees approved a seventh legislative priority at its regular meeting on Tuesday, requesting state funding support for the SBDC. The Texas Senate did not include funding for the Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network, which includes the Blinn College SBDC, in its base budget announced in January.
SBDCs throughout the United States help new entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and strengthen existing businesses by providing free consulting and affordable training seminars to small and medium-sized businesses. SBDC consultants help business owners develop strategies, attract customers, increase sales, and improve productivity and profitability. The SBDC’s free business consulting and low-cost training seminars cover topics such as writing business plans, assessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, and international trade.
State-wide, Texas SBDCs served 63,001 total businesses, offered 2,167 trainings, seminars, and courses; provided training for 41,959 participants; and handled 19,468 consulting cases in 2016. A 2016 national impact study found that Texas SBDCs created 14,692 jobs, retained 9,934 existing jobs, helped clients obtain $576 million in financing and investments, assisted in generating $1.3 billion in new sales, and generated $152 million in new tax revenue.
According to information provided by SBDCTexas.org, the average Texas SBDC client experienced 20.9 percent sales growth in 2016 compared to a 1.4 percent decline for the average Texas business. Texas SBDC clients also enjoyed 20.7 percent employment growth compared to 2.4 percent for the average Texas business in 2016.
The Blinn College SBDC is a member of the Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network, which serves 32 counties in southeast Texas through its 15 business consulting and training centers in Bay City, Baytown, Beaumont, Brenham, Bryan, Deer Park, Houston, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Missouri City, Port Arthur, Prairie View, Texas City, and The Woodlands.
The Blinn SBDC, which serves Austin, Colorado and Washington counties, creates approximately 80 new jobs each year, including approximately 100 in 2016. On average, the Blinn SBDC helps clients obtain approximately $5.5 million in capital, creates 18 new businesses, and works with approximately 90 local businesses each year. These clients range from small start-up businesses to existing companies with more than 100 employees.
At its regular August meeting, the board approved six legislative priorities. Those priorities are:
— Blinn supports the state funding goals for community colleges as adopted by the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) and Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT).
This includes increasing core funding for each community college district by $250,000 per year; funding student success points at a minimum of $185 per point; and increasing state funding for community college instruction by $45 million, allowing community colleges to meet workforce skill demands, increase dual credit courses, and expand educational opportunities for all students.
— Blinn College supports enhanced policies, programs and associated funding to strengthen the workforce development services and initiatives as adopted by TACC and CCATT.
— Blinn College supports an increase in state funding to further Blinn College’s efforts to provide an affordable higher education for all students.
— Blinn College is committed to strengthening its business and industry partnerships and to enhancing workforce development in all of its service area.
— Blinn College supports additional state funding to offset the rising expenses associated with Hazlewood exemptions.
— Blinn College supports maintenance of the existing level of state funding for the operation of the Star of the Republic Museum.
Source: Brenham Banner-Press