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2009 News Releases

Longwood Small Business Development Center receives statewide award

March 25, 2009

Longwood Small Business Development Center Staff 2009 LSBDC staff members (front, from left) Jenna Girardi, Dawn Garrett, Kim Ray and Diane Arnold, and (back, from left) Larry Harris, Sherri Moore, Pat Hood, Sheri McGuire (executive director), Dick Ephgrave and Dave Slayton.

The Longwood Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) was recently selected for a statewide award.

The LSBDC will receive the 2009 Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Center Award from the Richmond district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The Richmond SBA district encompasses all of Virginia except for four localities in Northern Virginia. The award, which will be presented May 8 in Richmond, recognizes "excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation."

"The LSBDC exemplifies the spirit of this award," said Jody Keenan, director of the Virginia SBDC network. "LSBDC personnel are stellar representatives of the SBDC program."

Longwood operates five SBDC office locations, which are among the 29 SBDCs that comprise the state network. The LSBDC offices are in Farmville, South Boston, Martinsville, Petersburg, and Danville.

The Longwood SBDC provides free education, consulting, and research for new and existing businesses in 20 counties in six cities in South-Central Virginia. It was founded in 1989 as one of the first two SBDCs in Virginia. Last year the Longwood SBDC network provided consulting services to 541 potential and existing business owners who were able to create or retain 376 jobs and secure $7.8 million in capital for their businesses as a result of SBDC consulting services.

The Virginia SBDC network also consists of George Mason, James Madison and Radford universities and the University of Mary Washington, six community colleges, four chambers of commerce, and four independent economic development organizations. The network is a partnership among the SBA, George Mason University, which is the lead host institution, and the other local host institutions.

The award will be presented during the annual Virginia Small Business Awards Luncheon, co-sponsored by the Richmond district SBA office and the Small Business Awards Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization. The recipient is chosen by an independent panel of judges consisting of industry experts who review the nominees in early January. The award is being given for the second year. The inaugural recipient was the SBDC of Hampton Roads.

In September 2008 the director of the Danville office of the LSBDC, Diane Arnold, received the State Star award from the Virginia SBDC network, recognizing her as the state's outstanding employee. In May of that year she received the District Director's Award for the Richmond SBA district. Sheri McGuire, executive director of the LSBDC, received the State Star award in 2007.