FRESNO, Calif. – The UC Merced Small Business Development Center (UCM-SBDC) has received full reaccreditation by the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), a national accrediting agency. The region-wide network was notified April 4 of the accreditation, which will allow it to secure continued funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and gives the network national recognition as a high-quality economic development organization. The accreditation standards are based on the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.
In addition to meeting the general accreditation standards, the UCM-SBDC also met the technology accreditation standards, as developed and deployed in cooperation with the agency’s federal funding partner, the SBA. The result positions the UC Merced network as one of only 12 out of 63 state and regional programs awarded the “T” designation for technology. It is one of only three such programs in California, joining the Northern California SBDC Regional Network (San Francisco region) and Orange County/Inland Empire SBDC Regional Network.
Beth Melnik, chair of the ASBDC Accreditation Team, said, “I want to congratulate you and your network for achieving this important milestone. UC Merced SBDC Network is to be commended for both its exceptional dedication and commitment to the pursuit of continuous improvement. Congratulations are also in order for earning the Technology Accreditation for the first time.”
Regional Director Diane Howerton said, “This is a very thorough and comprehensive process, one that is extremely important to help guide the network’s movement toward achieving a world-class delivery system for sustaining small business development and survivability in today’s fast-paced and innovative environment. The accreditation report serves as our roadmap for driving continuous improvement in both the management and delivery systems of the SBDC program.”
In 2015, the UCM-SBDC assisted more than 4,000 entrepreneurs with technical assistance and business workshops. In addition, new equity capital invested and loans for SBDC clients totaled more than $20.9 million, with 126 new businesses started and 664 jobs created and/or retained. Total economic impact since 2003 is $289 million.
UC Merced was awarded the SBA contract in 2003 to serve 14 counties in Central California: San Luis Obispo, San Benito, Monterey, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern, Mono and Inyo. The mission of the network is to promote the development and growth of small businesses by providing high quality business assistance throughout Central California and thereby enhancing regional prosperity.
This cooperative agreement is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of California, Merced.