Frequently Asked Questions

Most commonly asked questions we receive.


Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive at Saint Vincent College SBDC.

If you have a question not answered below, contact us at

The SBDC does not provide direct financing. Our consultants work with banks and other lending agencies and organizations to assist in putting together financial projections, but the actual financing comes from the lender.

Generally, grants are not available for starting up a small business. There are grants through federal and state resources, as well as the private sector, for some research and development projects, high-tech businesses, and other specialized areas. Your local public library will have complete listings in the Reference Department.

Because of the SBDC’s funding guidelines, the Center is not able to assist businesses that are established as not-for-profit.

The SBDC is part of a state-wide network of colleges and university centers (PASBDC) which is a joint venture of federal, state, and private sector agencies and organizations including the US Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic development. Each agency, along with the host university, contributes to the financial support of the program.

To receive assistance from the Saint Vincent College SBDC, your business should be located in Westmoreland or Fayette counties.

The SBDC provides one-on-one consulting in business planning, marketing and promotion, financial analysis, and accounting. In addition, a Procurement Assistance program is available for companies that want to bid on Federal government contracts. An International trade program is available for firms that want to enter into or expand in the global marketplace, engineering development services are available for firms developing new products, and an Environmental Management Assistance program is also available.

The SBDC provides no-fee consulting services. Minimal fees are charged for seminars and workshops to cover costs of instructors, materials, etc.

At your initial meeting, your consultant will review your business proposal, determine a course of action and identify areas of responsibility for both of you. Your consultant will then follow-up with an engagement letter detailing your meeting and listing the items each of you will be working on, along with an estimated time frame for completion.

A well thought-out business plan generally takes from six months to a year to complete, but can be less depending on how committed you are to the business, and how much time you are willing to spend on writing your plan. Your business plan is a joint venture with your consultant. The SBDC consultant will not write a business plan for you. The writing of the plan is an educational process in which you learn about your business and how you expect it to operate. It should reflect your goals, objectives, priorities, and management style.

The Saint Vincent College SBDC offers a Pre-venture seminar for those individuals who want general information on starting a business, or who are in the initial start-up phase. This seminar provides the basics for getting a business up and running. Upon completion of the start-up seminar, individual consulting services are available. Your project will be assigned to a consultant who will guide you through the development process.