The 2016 economic impact study of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) provides solid evidence that entrepreneurs utilizing UGA SBDC assistance experience greater sales and employment growth than the state averages. The study found that the employment base of UGA SBDC’s existing business clients grew by 15.5 percent, while overall employment levels in Georgia increased by 2.9 percent. Also, during the same time period, UGA SBDC existing business clients increased their sales by an average of 12.0 percent, while the average Georgia business experienced an increase in sales of 5.5 percent.
“I do not believe my firm would have achieved its current success if it were not for the SBDC. They have been invaluable to our growth. Their help allowed me to see past areas where I get stuck and they bring new ideas to the table. I truly feel like I have a partner in my business.”
The tax implications of this incremental difference show that UGA SBDC clients (both existing and pre-ventures) generated nearly $7.6 million in state tax revenues and over $6.9 million in federal tax revenues beyond what they would have generated if their performance levels had been the same as that of the average Georgia business. These incremental tax revenues more than cover the entire UGA SBDC budget. Overall, satisfied, long-term business clients of the University of Georgia SBDC were responsible for the creation of an estimated 2,840 new jobs and $202 million in incremental new sales for the year 2015.
“The services the SBDC provides are truly exceptional. The consultation, knowledge, and expertise I have received has allowed me to calculate several business decisions which have benefited my company. My consultant has provided me with confidence in areas that I struggle with. In addition, the programs the SBDC provides for marginal cost are a great benefit for any planning, new, or growing company. Thank you SBDC for all you do.”
“The SBDC has been an excellent, valuable resource for me. The knowledge and expertise of their consultants is phenomenal! Their guidance and expertise saved me many snags and mistakes that I would have otherwise encountered had I not had this resource.”
All clients who received five or more hours of consulting in 2014 were emailed a questionnaire that inquired as to the benefit of the services and actual performance results in 2014 and 2015. (A few clients without valid email addresses were sent paper surveys via the U.S. Postal Service.) A total of 957 clients returned usable surveys for a response rate of 48.1 percent. The report was prepared by Dr. James Chrisman of Mississippi State University. Dr. Chrisman also conducts the analysis and writes the report for the national impact study for America’s SBDCs, the national association of Small Business Development Centers. Across the country, incremental performance improvements also resulted in additional tax revenues exceeding the combined costs (budgets) of all SBDC programs.