By: Reese Andersen
Mason Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the School of Public Policy provides one-one-one business counseling to entrepreneurs in Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William counties at no cost thanks to the generosity of key sponsors. As one of 29 SBDC's in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Mason SBDC helps make up the most extensive business development program in the state.
In 2009, 315 small business owners received over 1,000 hours of counseling from Mason SBDC counselors in a wide range of disciplines such as strategic planning, marketing, and finance. Through counseling, Mason SBDC helped its clients create over 240 jobs and retain over 310 jobs. Many clients are directly affiliated with the George Mason University Community. Mona Salisbury, Assistant Director of Mason SBDC, commented, "the strength of our highly involved staff and volunteer counseling network has enabled us to become a trusted partner to entrepreneurs looking to impact the Northern Virginia area."
Mason SBDC works confidentially with both pre-operational and operational small businesses. During the initial season, a counselor reviews Mason SBDC services and identifies major areas of focus for future counseling sessions. Follow-up sessions are typically held quarterly by experts that meet each client's individual business needs.
To learn more about Mason SBDC, please visit www.sbdc.org. The website provides a link to request counseling in addition to pertinent resources for entrepreneurs. Once engaged in counseling at Mason SBDC, entrepreneurs have access to podcasts and social networking opportunities with other local business owners in the area.