Extension reaches business clients, helps create jobs
University-based small business specialists in southwest Missouri helped clients of the Missouri Small Business &Technology Development Centers and the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers contribute to a record-breaking impact during fiscal year 2011.
In Greene County, during 2011, business specialists with MU Extension, Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC), Missouri Environmental Program, Missouri Career Options Project, and the Missouri Market Development program served 153 people and their companies with business start-up and management counseling, training, and other assistance.
"Small businesses are the job creators in our state and nation, creating investments, sales and quality of life in our communities," said Chrystal Irons, business development specialist, University of Missouri Extension. "These results validate what economic development research has said for some time--that small, innovative and entrepreneurial companies hold the key to economic recovery."
In addition, entrepreneurs and business owners in Greene County reported the following economic impact and activity as a result of the services provided by the MU Extension Business Development Program specifically in Greene County:
--New jobs: 66;
--Sales increases: $5,735,132;
--Government contracts: $3,955,358;
--New businesses: 6;
--Jobs retained: 3,234;
--Loans and investments in business: $204,073,294; and
--Acquired assets: $1,851,289.
"The business development specialists with MU Extension work on both regional and statewide projects. However, Irons is giving a lot of attention to Greene County and we appreciate her efforts," said David Burton, county program director for Extension in Greene County.
The MO SBTDC and MO PTAC programs include 39 locations throughout the state, many at other state universities. Working in individualized counseling sessions, specialists with the two programs assist Missouri firms in addressing management, marketing, government procurement, technology commercialization and financial management issues.
For more information or assistance related to a current or future business, contact either of the MU Extension business specialists in the Ozarks: Kathy Macomber at 417-682-3579 or Chrystal Irons at 417-682-3579, or one of the two Small Business and Technology Development Centers in southwest Missouri: Missouri State University in Springfield at 417-836-5685 or Missouri Southern University in Joplin at 417-625-3128.