Left to right: Edward Haddock, Arkansas SBA Director, Lori Lieblong, ASBTDC Consultants, Stephanie Parsons, Mary Beth Brooks (Director), Scott Lacy, Catherine Corley, Laura Fine, State Director of the ‘ASBTDC.
The U of A Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center received the 2022 Arkansas SBDC Center of Excellence and Innovation Award on May 3 at the meeting of the ASBTDC in Little Rock. Arkansas SBA Director Edward Haddock presented the award to U of A Center Director Mary Beth Brooks and her team.
“Our team is honored by this recognition from the SBA,” said Brooks. “We work diligently to provide the necessary services to our small business customers in the Northwest Arkansas region. Their success is essential to the vitality of the regional economy and is at the forefront of our daily work.”
The ASBTDC is a unit of the U of A’s Economic Development Division and part of a statewide network of academic centers that work with all types of small businesses through confidential consultation and individual at no cost to the customer. ASBTDC’s consultants, specialists and contract experts provide support to startups, small businesses seeking expansion and growth, struggling businesses and entrepreneurs buying or selling a business. “I am extremely proud of the innovation and creativity this office demonstrates through advice, outreach and events. Mary Beth and her team are essential partners in economic development and champions for small businesses in all sectors,” said ASBTDC State Director Laura Fine.
With offices in Fayetteville and the U of A Collaborative in Bentonville, the center serves six northwestern Arkansas counties: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton, and Washington. Consultants and specialists offer expanded services in business planning, financial analysis, marketing and social media strategy to small business clients. Since 2018, the center has recorded 135 start-ups, 1,452 jobs created or maintained, 175 in-person and virtual workshops, and a capital injection of $82.2 million. “This well-deserved award from the SBA recognizes the important work the great team at ASBTDC does every day to help small businesses and entrepreneurs in Northwest Arkansas. This important service is a great example of the how the U of A is positively impacting Arkansas’ everyday economy.”