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Letter to the Editor: SBDC committed to helping Jamestown entrepreneurs

I'm writing in response to Keith Norman's article regarding SBDC services. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a funding partner for the ND Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and we are committed to helping entrepreneurs in Jamestown and the surrounding area.

Under SBA's mandate, our funding must be matched with state and local funds to fully support the program. The lead SBDC office manages specific locations, directly or indirectly, through local hosts such as the South Central Regional Council.

After the regional council dropped the SBDC program, the SBA and SBDC offered continued funding and support to other entities in hopes of continuing an SBDC office in Jamestown. During this transition period, the SBDC network continued to provide free business advising services in Jamestown with other SBDC small business advisors. A local entity did step up, but unfortunately was unable to recruit a viable business advisor. As an option, the lead SBDC office went to this alternative plan to continue providing services to the area.

As needs change across the state and more funds potentially become available through state and local entities, I'm certain the SBA and SBDC will revisit options for providing services in Jamestown and surrounding areas.

This area is a great place to own a business and SBA continues to have a variety of resources to help fledgling entrepreneurs. SBA also provides funding for SCORE, the Women's Business Centers (WBC), and the Veteran's Business Outreach Center (VBOC), all serving small businesses across North Dakota.

Alan Haut is the director of the North Dakota District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration

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