The Small Business Development Center at Kean has big plans for 2013-2014
By: Alexandria Addesso
The Small Business Development Center at Kean University is continuously expanding its efforts in helping small businesses flourish in the greater Union County area despite losing its funding for its location in Plainfield, due to the municipality’s own financial constraints last June.
“It is not important that that office is in my building,” said Malcolm Dunn, the owner of the Business One Stop Service building where the SBDC office that lost funding was located, “but that it is somewhere.”
Although the SBDC has been centrally located on Kean’s campus since its commencement in 1989 — originally located on the East Campus but currently located in Willis Hall Room 301 — Nathaniel Sims, the acting director for the past year and assistant director for 11 years before that, believed it was important to still have accessible counseling to the city of Plainfield.
“I didn’t want to leave the Plainfield area,” said Sims.
Sims kept doing one-on-one counseling sessions in the Plainfield Department of Labor on Second Street as well as at the PNC Bank at the corner of Second Street and Park Avenue when space was available and sessions were needed. Sims also does off-campus counseling in the Elizabeth Department of Labor and the Union Chamber of Commerce every Tuesday and at the Elizabeth Development Company on First Street every Monday.
Among the many events and programs the SBDC at Kean is organizing this year, the Finding Your Small Business workshop on Oct. 29 is the closest. It is the last seminar of the six-part Fall 2013 Small Business Certificate Series and is also the only one that is completely free but registration is required.
It will be held at the New Jersey Department of Labor/Business Resource Center in Elizabeth from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. This specific seminar will focus on how to utilize various loan programs, including the new Federal and State incentives available to small business owners as well as their general requirements.
For the NJSBDC’s Annual Small Business Growth Success Awards Luncheon, the SBDC at Kean client Dr. Elena Jauregui was nominated to be honored. Jauregui is the owner of her own medical practice, the Morris Family Medical Center on Morris Avenue in Elizabeth. Sims started counseling Jauregui when she started her private practice in 2000.
“She started with zero clients,” said Sims, “and now has treated thousands of clients over that 13-year period.”
Currently, Sims is working on a major conference to be held in March similar to the Lieutenant Governor’s NJ Resource for Business Growth Event last February. The event is to be held at the same location, Kean’s STEM Building.
Sims is also working on a program open to all Kean students seeking either paid or unpaid internships. The program will give students internships at local organizations, and even though it is still a work in progress, according to Sims he expects to see results this fall and spring semesters.
To find out more about the internship program, any workshop or event mentioned or general small business counseling sessions, contact Nathaniel Sims at 908-737-4220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All sessions are free and only require an application form to be completed on sba.gov or a hard copy.