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May 25, 2012
By Claudene Wharton
Nevada businesses and entrepreneurs looking for available resources now have a new, single-stop service to turn to for help. Today, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and representatives from several entities, including the Nevada Small Business Development Center and the Urban Chamber of Commerce, will gather to celebrate the opening of the new Business Success Center at the Urban Chamber of Commerce.
Part of the City of Las Vegas' Business Incubator Program and located at the Urban Chamber of Commerce, the Business Success Center is managed by the Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC), a statewide business-assistance outreach program of the University of Nevada, Reno, College of Business.
Programs provided at the Business Success Center include many currently offered at other NSBDC offices in southern Nevada and throughout the state, as well as services of several other partner agencies who all aim to work together to further economic development in the state. In addition to the City of Las Vegas and the Urban Chamber of Commerce, some other key partners in the project include the College of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Department of Transportation, the Nevada MicroEnterprise Initiative, the Nevada Procurement Outreach Program, SCORE, UNLV and the Veterans Business Outreach Center.
Some of the services offered are professional business consulting, microloans, entrepreneurial training, economic and demographic analyses, regional business and economic research, environmental and energy-efficiency assistance, student support and learning, assistance obtaining government grants and contracts, and other programs that support veterans and Nevada's changing demographics.
Marcel Schaerer, director of southern Nevada operations for the NSBDC, is heading up the Business Success Center, which, like other NSBDC operations, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is also the director of the Imagine 2020 Initiative at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business, which aims to lead and support a more diverse region overall, a role he said goes hand-in-hand with the goals of the Business Success Center and the Urban Chamber of Commerce.
"We are very happy to be here at the Urban Chamber, working closely with the City of Las Vegas and others to support a diverse clientele of business owners and entrepreneurs in southern Nevada," Schaerer said. "In addition to counseling and services our NSBDC staff provides, we are serving as somewhat of a tour guide, helping clients to navigate through the many agencies that can offer them assistance. We will direct them to the right places, as well as bring our partners over to the Business Success Center to assist clients one-on-one, in workshops, or whatever is needed."
Schaerer also noted that students from the College of Southern Nevada will be very involved in the Center.
"It is a great partnership," he said. "Students from the College of Southern Nevada and their Entrepreneurship Incubator Program will use the Center as a hub, to develop and work on their projects and ideas. It will be a terrific learning environment for them, where support will be readily available. We expect many of them will be able to chip in and help clients seeking assistance at the Center as well."
The Business Success Center is located in Suite 32 of the Urban Chamber of Commerce, 1951 Stella Lake St., and will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 800-240-7094.