Centers of Excellence

The Pennsylvania Small Business Development was awarded a CARES Act funding grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small-business owners. Nine out of 16 centers prepared proposals to build capacity to provide specific services to all small businesses in Pennsylvania. Funding was set aside to award these proposed “Centers of Excellence” in special recognition for creative programming and collaboration to provide industry sector specific specialized programs and services to industries and core areas most severally impacted in the Commonwealth. 
These nine centers created partnership initiatives to expand specific industry sector education, training and business advising to address the issues faced by small businesses as a result of the pandemic.
A joint initiative that will help Pennsylvania agriculture businesses sustain operations and stabilize food supply chains in the wake of the pandemic. Penn State University, Clarion University and The University of Scranton SBDC’s together will create specialized services for the agriculture industries leveraging host institution resources and partnerships including the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and Penn State Extension.
Penn State SBDC
The University of Scranton SBDC
Clarion University SBDC

Digital Services
This recognition and support allow the Pittsburgh University SBDC and Temple University SBDC to further development of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), assist small businesses with migration to e-commerce sites and expansion of E-commerce capabilities for businesses across the PASBDC network.
Temple University SBDC
Sarah Mailloux, Program Manager
Pittsburgh University SBDC
Michael Wholihan

Growth Wheel
Lehigh University SBDC will present GrowthWheel training to assist businesses with strategic internal operations and innovate their business model.
Lehigh University SBDC

Health & Life Science
A joint initiative to provide enhanced industry specific guidance to the life sciences and health related industry as well as a focus on employee health and safety in the workplace including CDC and OSHA guidance.
Duquesne University SBDC
Russell Combs
Widener University SBDC
Tim Daniel

Created to provide Spanish speaking entrepreneurs, in Pennsylvania, with access to relevant and timely information, training and business consulting as entrepreneurs navigate COVID-19 and the next normal. This team builds infrastructure resources in Spanish and English, that can be used by entrepreneurs during COVID-19 and beyond.
Widener University SBDC
Liliana Quintero

Tourism & Hospitality
Collaborating on specialized services to assist tourism/hospitality businesses in Pennsylvania to sustain and stabilize operations in the wake of the pandemic.
  • Offer ongoing educational and training programs on tourism-related topics.
  • Provide individual and group consulting to tourism industry businesses.
  • Access to and assistance with funding resources for tourism-related business to access capital and other programs for operations, growth and sustainability.
Gannon University SBDC
Shane Foster
Temple University SBDC
Sarah Mailloux, Program Manager