Committed to Growing Georgia's Businesses

How We Can Help

We’re committed to growing Georgia’s businesses. We provide low-cost educational training programs and no-cost business consulting for Georgians. Find a training program near you to get started.

Why Small is Great

The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. With our designation as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance, we serve the entire state with 17 offices from Rome to Valdosta.

On average, small businesses utilizing long-term UGA SBDC assistance benefit from 22.9 percent sales growth (compared to the Georgia average of 5 percent) and 20.3 percent employment growth (compared to the Georgia average of 1.9 percent).

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Success Stories

Executive Charles Broom worked 15 years collaborating with small and large businesses to staff specialized professionals when he decided to begin his transition from employee to business owner. “Eventually, I got to a place where I wanted to do the ultimate challenge; start and sustain a business,” he said. Broom soon realized he needed someone to help him the same way he had helped others, so he contacted consultant Paul Wilson of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Georgia State University. “Paul imposed timelines and challenged me to make the most of our time together,” said Broom. “We drilled down to specific action items. He then held me accountable about taking the time to visualize the business prior to acting on these items. This step was difficult, but necessary.” Revenues for the RieLes Group were in the six figures in 2018, and the company had been awarded a federal contract for more than $1 million. The company now manages several professionals in six states.

Nurse Sue Bailey has been a caring person all her life. So, when family suggested she open a care facility, she did. Twice. “It took two years to plan it,” said Sue. “That’s when I found out about the UGA SBDC office in Rome. I made an appointment, and Matt helped me through the whole process. He’s been completely involved since then.” Cave Spring Manor opened the summer of 2015 with financing by the SBA 7A loan Pearce had aided Sue in obtaining. By January 2016, the facility was licensed and accepting its first residents. Staffing peaks at 10 full-time and 10 part-time, depending on occupancy. The business was profitable within its first four months of operations.

Savannah’s Hipster Hound Doggy Daycare and boarding facility’s daily clients have grown beyond capacity in less than two years, encouraging owners Tonya and Nick Rintye to consider an expansion. Yet two years before they opened, they learned it would take more than a good idea and desire to get it off the ground. “There is much more to starting a small business than opening the doors and inviting the customers in. I learned this lesson while working with the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center,” says Tonya. Today, Hipster Hound Doggy Day Care houses up to 75 dogs a day and has a loyal following with all the community work they support. They have 20 employees, and a national grocer and retail outlets around the country have picked up their natural treats. Six-figure sales revenues have doubled each of the last two years, Tonya reports. “I don’t know how people start a small business without the SBDC.”

Contact Your Local Office

With 17 offices located throughout Georgia, there is an SBDC in your backyard.

Contact your local office to meet the team, see a complete list of upcoming training opportunities and learn more about how the SBDC can help you start or grow your business.