The SHSU Small Business Development Center provides free resources for small business owners

The Sam Houston State University Small Business Development Center (SHSU SBDC) is dedicated to helping small businesses start, grow, expand and succeed. A member of the University of Houston Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network, SHSU SBDC provides no-cost business counseling, education and training to existing and prospective small business owners.

The SHSU SBDC has expanded and now offers convenient locations in The Woodlands and Huntsville, serving Montgomery, Walker, San Jacinto, Madison and Leon counties. SHSU The Woodlands Center is located at 3380 College Park Dr. Suite 101 in The Woodlands, Texas.

SHSU The Woodlands Center is located at 3380 College Park Dr. Suite 101 in The Woodlands, Texas; Photo: SHSU

SHSU SBDC advisors provide advisory services in business planning, operations, finance, accounting, loan proposals, access to capital, financial analysis, sales, marketing, strategic planning, market research, government procurement and international trade.

Business owners also have access to in-person training classes and webinars ranging from a variety of topics: SBA Disaster Relief, Food and Restaurant, Social Media, Marketing, Technology, Loans and more. Taught by industry experts, all training offers quick bursts of solutions and advice to help business owners take their business to the next level.

“SHSU SBDC has been helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve the American Dream of owning their own business for 30 years,” said Rhonda Ellisor, director. “We have enjoyed expanding our services throughout Montgomery County, promoting and strengthening the county’s economic well-being with our vast experience, tools and available resources.”

“The COVID pandemic caused major disruption for millions of small businesses. SBDC has helped business owners navigate these extraordinary situations successfully,” said Ellisor.

To build a more resilient economy after COVID-19, the SHSU SBDC program continues to help small business owners strengthen their infrastructure, improve their business continuity strategy and develop an emergency preparedness plan. Their no-cost professional advice and mentoring can make a huge difference in success or failure during an unprecedented disruption.

SHSU SBDC Center advisory staff can assist business owners at various stages of the business life cycle: pre-venture or early stage, start-up, expansion, growth or exit.

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Therisa Massey and Kathy Sanders, partners at Third Coast Organic Foods, shared, “We were in desperate need of expert advice on a website redesign and social media marketing strategies for our new food production business in Conroe . We couldn’t be more pleased to work with our SBDC Business Advisor, who showed a genuine interest in our startup business and its potential for success in Montgomery County and throughout Texas. Our SBDC Business Advisor has provided sound business advice and referrals to digital marketing and website design experts and guided us in making good business decisions for our growing business. Thank you, SBDC, for being there for us!”

Brian and Jennifer Kempton, owners of Willis Urgent Care, shared, “Before we opened, I took a QuickBooks class at SBDC and learned valuable skills that taught me bookkeeping and how to manage payroll. SBDC also helped tremendously with marketing advice and provided a web design expert who gave great advice on our website and marketing. At one point, we had problems with our bank loan and the center director worked hard to put us in touch with the right people to help us secure a better loan. We opened during the pandemic and our advisor was always calling to check on us to see if we needed any help – whether it was loan forgiveness, marketing or employee retention. Thankfully we are approaching our second year as small business owners and we couldn’t do it without the guidance of the SHSU SBDC!”

SHSU SBDC advisors can assist small business owners and help schedule a one-on-one session with an SBDC business specialist for expertise in a variety of topics such as Loan Services, Marketing, Hospitality, Finance, Retail, Service Customer Service, Branding, Social Media, Human Resources, QuickBooks Training, SEO Marketing and more.

Contact the Sam Houston State University Small Business Development Center by calling (936) 294-3737 to connect with an advisor or visit shsu.edu/sbdc.

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John Cooper School February 2022

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