Many people say that timing is everything, and that was definitely the case in 2007 when Mike Unruh, Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Shippensburg University, found himself talking with Bill Snell, President and CEO of F&M Trust in Chambersburg, about the need for small business support in their community.
At the time, F&M Trust was interested in expanding its small business relationships beyond basic banking and lending, and Mike was part of the team developing the SBDC at Shippensburg University. Through their conversations, a partnership was formed and F&M Trust became a sponsor of the programs at the SBDC in Shippensburg.
F&M Trust was first involved with the SBDC as a sponsor, a relationship that quickly grew into a partnership. “F&M Trust is more than just a sponsor, they have really become a partner in building small business success in the community,” shared Unruh. “Their support allows us to provide quality programs, above and beyond what our basic funding would allow.”
The Shippensburg University SBDC was founded in 2007 and is one of 18 Centers in Pennsylvania. It’s an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers.
The SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a small business in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. Services range from helping aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, to assisting with expansions, to providing the information every business person needs to make critical decisions. It’s the resource entrepreneurs in all industry sectors can turn to for help – help that can make the difference between success and failure.
SBDC courses, seminars, and conferences provide up-to-date, practical information on a wide variety of business topics. Programs cover very basic business topics as well as more advanced and specific business management skill sets. These low cost workshops bring in experts and leaders from industry, government, higher education, and professional associations to share their experience and knowledge with those looking to start a small business of their own.
Workshop topics include The First Step: Starting a Small Business, Writing a Business Plan, Social Media for Small Businesses, Government Contracting, and Selecting and Using the Appropriate Business Structure. F&M Trust is specifically involved in the First Step workshop series, serving not only as a co-sponsor but also as a presenter on topics regarding lending.
“The speakers we get from F&M do a great job in presenting the facts about small business lending, and not just as it pertains the their bank, but across financial institutions as an industry,” said Unruh.
Read the full interview in September’s issue of Transactions. Aren’t a subscriber? Visit the Transactions page on this website or call PACB at 717-231-7447 to start receiving the magazine.