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Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

  • SBDC: Temple University SBDC
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Kutztown University SBDC Client, Z-Band Inc., Receives Visit from SBA

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On January 31, U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho toured Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) client, Z-Band Inc.

Z-Band Inc., a veteran-owned small business, manufactures electronic boxes used in video distribution. Its products are exported to a variety of countries like Afghanistan, Canada, and China and used by a wide-ranging customer base that includes hospitals, military stations, entertainment companies, and banks.Kutztown University SBDC consultants closely advised Z-Band on business planning, growth strategy, financing and how to build an export business. The SBDC also helped Z-Band write a business plan, fine-tune its grant-writing processes, build an effective compliance program and cultivate relationships with economic development and export organizations.  Z-Band Inc. is now growing 30% a year and creating jobs across Pennsylvania.  During an interview with witf, Vice President of Marketing and Sales Dick Snyder said that the SBDC can help to fill in the knowledge gaps that small companies have.  Snyder went on to say that the company has used $500,000 in loans and grants over its five-year lifetime to contribute up to $25 million in economic development to the midstate.

Z-Band also leveraged programs and assistance from the following organizations to help it grow: Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, Capital Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC) and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Z-Band markets and sells a full spectrum RF television distribution system to a variety of industries, including: education, government, healthcare, hospitality, and Fortune 1000 commercial businesses. The Z-Band system facilitates large-scale television distribution over Category cable verses Coax cable in classrooms and dormitory rooms; military barracks and command centers; hospital rooms and family lounges; hotel rooms and casino floors; and corporate offices and trading floors.

Some of Z-Band's best-known customers include: Penn State University, Rice University and University of Southern California; Kaiser Permanente Hospitals, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University Hospital; Univision, Black Entertainment Television and Sesame Workshop; DOW Chemical, Hess Oil, and Devon Energy; Navistar, GE Power, and the NCAA; Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Z-Band also serves a number of U.S. federal government institutions, such as: the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Departments of Agriculture and Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Air and Army National Guard facilities nationwide and the Defense Logistics Agency. Z-Band also provides its video solution to Canadian government departments of National Defense, Justice and the Ministry of Agriculture.

To read more about the SBA Administrator’s visit to Z-Band, see media coverage from Witf and Fox 43.