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ASU Small Business and Technology Development Center receives grant to assist veterans

Dec. 9, 2008 -- The Arkansas Congressional delegation has announced that the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) will receive a $93,405 grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Veterans Assistance and Services Program.

"Our servicemen and women and their families have sacrificed much to help keep our nation safe," said U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln. "It is essential that we do everything we can to provide for those who serve our country, and this grant will help Arkansas veterans access resources to help them achieve their goals for opening or maintaining a successful small business. Not only will these funds help those who serve on our behalf, they will also help strengthen Arkansas’s local economies."

"Arkansas veterans have given generously to our country. This funding is one way we can honor their service and help foster success in their business ventures. As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I will continue to strongly back initiatives that promote entrepreneurship by our nation’s heroes," U.S. Senator Mark Pryor said.

"Arkansans who bravely serve our country have earned every opportunity we can afford their success.  These federal dollars will assist the ASBTDC in empowering veterans and active duty service members with the skills needed to open and grow small businesses in Arkansas communities," said U.S. Representative Marion Berry, of Arkansas' First District.

"Expanding opportunities for veterans is an important aspect of the federal government’s responsibility to them for their service to our nation," U.S. Representative John Boozman (AR-03) said. "This funding will make our veterans more competitive and ensure they have access to the tools they need to achieve their goals in the business world."

"Small businesses are the engines of our local economies, and this investment is an investment in Arkansas’s future," said U.S. Representative Mike Ross (AR-04).  "By also helping out our troops and veterans, we can give those who left their friends and family to serve their country the opportunity to achieve the American dream with the skills they need to successfully manage their own business."

The grant will help the center serve active, retired and reserve military personnel who are small business owners or aspiring entrepreneurs. ASBTDC will utilize sophisticated communication technologies to reach Arkansas veterans living in the state as well as those serving on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other far-flung locations.

The center will provide online consulting and educational services tailored to Arkansas veterans. A Web portal ASBTDC is creating will serve as a hub for services. The portal will host ASBTDC’s veteran-specific distance learning programs and will also offer blogs, discussion forums, audio and video streaming, content syndication and news. Online training will detail pre-deployment and post-deployment activities for business owners. Four webinars
live online seminars are planned over the next year on starting a business and writing a business plan.

"Through the use of web technology, we will be able to assist more active, reserve and retired veterans with their existing businesses and business starts, whether they live in rural Arkansas or serve on foreign soil," said Janet Roderick, state director of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.

Conducting the online consulting and webinars will be Herb Lawrence, director of the ASBTDC regional office at Arkansas State University. An Army veteran, Lawrence has worked closely with the Arkansas National Guard and other military groups to provide consulting and other business services and helped develop the ASBTDC’s Arkansas National Guard Business Mobilization Guide.

Established in 1980, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center program is a partnership of the SBA (Small Business Administration) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business. In addition to the lead center at UALR and office at ASU, other regional offices are located at Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, University of Arkansas
Fort Smith and University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology in McGehee.

All services, which include consulting, research and training, are available at low or no cost through ASBTDC’s partnership with the SBA and higher education institutions across Arkansas. For more information, contact Herb Lawrence, ASU SBTDC, at, or Gwen Green,, (501) 683-7700.



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