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 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ):

Q: In what areas do you offer assistance?

A. Specializing in direct one-to-one counseling, the SBDC offers assistance in the following business areas:

Q: Who qualifies for SBDC services?

A. Any small business owner or manager or any individual considering starting a business or purchasing a business to be located in New York may contact the SBDC at Binghamton for free assistance. Emphasis is placed on providing services to manufacturers, women, veterans and minorities.

Q: How do you apply for help?

A. Contact us for an appointment by calling (607) 777-4024 or e-mail sbdc@binghamton.edu.

Q: How much do these services cost?

A. There are no fees for direct confidential counseling. However, reasonable fees are charged for some training programs and events.

Q: How successful is this program?

A. Since inception in 1984, the SBDC in Binghamton has assisted over 13,000 clients and helped to raise more than $193 million in private and public funding for their businesses. Since 1984, the SBDC at Binghamton has helped create or saved over 10,000 jobs across the Southern Tier of New York.

Q: Who sponsors these programs?

A. The Binghamton University Small Business Development Center is founded by support given by the State of New York, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Binghamton University.

Q: I want to start a business. I hear there are government grants to help me. Where can I get one?

A: For the most part, there are no grants available to start-up businesses. Contrary to what you might have heard, the government is not giving away free money. In some cases, such as educational, scientific or human development programs there may be funding available through private foundations to assist in the development of those programs. Most government grants are given to municipalities for local "quality of life" projects.

Q: Do I need a Business Plan?

A: If you are looking for funding from a bank or economic development agency, you will need a written business plan.

Q: Why bother?

A: One of the first things you will be asked is if you have a written plan. A written plan shows an investor that you have thought this idea through and is the road map to help your business be successful. The research and thought process that goes into a business plan can only help you overcome some of those unseen obstacles that you will encounter.

Q: What role does the SBDC play?

A: The SBDC is staffed by professionals who can help develop the written plan. Those professionals can help with the market research and compare similar businesses to yours. They can help you create and understand the financial forecasts for your business and help you prove to you and others that your business can be successful. SBDC Advisors are familiar with local bank and SBA loan requirements and can get you "bank ready." The SBDC is available to you for as long as you need us and there is no charge to you.

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Last Updated: 1/22/14