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SBDC, clients had a $244 million impact on NH in 2023, according to annual report


The cover of the New Hampshire SBDC 2023 Impact Report features, from left, Kenny Young, Nilaja Young, Karl Lawrence, and Alisa Lawrence, of Sweetwater Distillery, in Winchester. The report by the organization, which is celebrating its 40th year in New Hampshire, was issued earlier this month. Photo/New Hampshire Small Business Development Centers

MANCHESTER, NH – Entrepreneurs and small business owners across New Hampshire – 1,721 of them – sought support and advice from the state’s Small Business Development Centers in 2023, and the organization’s total economic impact on the state was $244 million, according to the SBDC 2023 Impact Report.

As NH SBDC celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it’s also expanding its reach, including the recent hiring of the organization’s first-ever inclusivity director, Loick Muyuka.

The SBDC is funded in part through the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as the state, and is an outreach program of the University of New Hampshire Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, in conjunction with SBA and the state Bureau of Economic Affairs. It offers free one-on-one business advising from 20 advising offices across the state, as well as resources, training, events and online courses, to small-business owners and entrepreneurs.

“As our nation’s economy continues to recover, the Granite State’s businesses have faced numerous challenges, including rising interest rates, workforce recruitment and retention issues, accelerated digital transformations, and increased cybersecurity threats,” Liz Gray, state director, said. “However, with the assistance of our dedicated business advisors and team, thousands of small businesses continue to launch, grow, and thrive.”

Businesses that took advantage of SBDC services in 2023 came from every corner of the state, including Nashua businesses Forward Forestry and Fortin Gage Flower and Gift Shop, to Winchester’s Sweetwater Distillery to Gorham’s Hub North Lodge and Glambing to Portsmouth’s White Heron Tea and Coffee, and hundreds in between.

“Without having people who are willing to put a guidepost out there that you can look at and say ‘Okay, this is what I should be doing,’ we wouldn’t have made it this far,” Mike Preminger, owner of Forward Forestry, said in an SBDC profile.

Numbers from this year’s report include:

  • 1,721 clients and a total 3,409 business owners advised and trained through one-on-one counseling and 76 training events
  • $244 million in economic impact
  • 628 created and saved jobs
  • $37.02 million in new capital raised
  • $26.43 million in increased sales

“Entrepreneurship can feel lonely and isolating, but when you connect with the SBDC team we open doors to a whole host of resources, lenders, and organizations that have programs to support business growth and development,” Gray said in the report.

The NH SBDC is continuing to focus on its Inclusivity Commitment, which started in 2022 with support from the CARES Act and the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program. Outreach focuses on expanding support to BIPOC and New American businesses through individualized business advising and education.

Loick Muyuka, NH SBCD’s first-ever inclusivity director, began work in January.

One big addition for 2024 is the hiring earlier this year of Muyuka, NH SBDC’s first inclusivity commitment director.

“The best part about the inclusivity program is that we are looking forward to breaking barriers and obstacles that some communities might face and really become one global village, businesswise,” Muyuka said in the report. “We want to restore humanity in the business world, where everyone’s voice is heard, and no one is left behind.”

Gray said that under Mukuka’s leadership, “We look forward to establishing a network hub of resources supporting BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQ+, veteran, formerly incarcerated, New American, and rural business owners.”

Increased federal funding in 2023 allowed it to expand its team of business advisors. 

It also held its first in-person NH Small Business Matchmaker since the pandemic, a program that began in 2011 to connect small business with prime contractors and federal agencies. Held in April, SBDC partnered with the Small Business Administration and the NH APEX Accelerator. More than 325 attended, including entrepreneurs, federal agencies, contractors and small business resource partners. The SBDC also has a series of online courses for businesses looking to take advantage of federal contracts.

In 2023, SBDC launched its Subcontracting Academy, hosted a series of artist and maker gatherings with the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the League of New Hampshire  Craftsmen, as well as held several other programs.

 SBDC also has 30 eCourses available online, covering topics such as Starting a Business, Understanding Your Financial Statements, Digital Marketing, Exporting, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Gray said that a lot is in store for the NH SBDC’s 40th year, including the launch of “intensive, cohort-based academies focused on exporting and government contracting” in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs. 

The SBDC is also in a unique partnership with ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute) to work with companies affiliated with ARMI’s BioFab Startup Lab in Manchester.


About this Contributor

Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is a contract reporter and content producer for consumer financial agencies. She has worked for northern New England publications, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, for 25 years, and most recently at Mainebiz in Portland, Maine. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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