The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC) at Southern Arkansas University was honored for its quality rural outreach by receiving the 2020 SBA Arkansas Small Business Development Center of the Year award at a virtual awards ceremony on November 12.
ASBTDC Director Janell Morton and business consultant Kristen Cribb were recognized for achieving performance milestones by helping new and established small businesses increase revenue, create and retain jobs, and opportunities for entrepreneurial development. As part of its innovative mission, the Center also educates the community about SBA programs and services.
“The ASBTDC is leading in small business development,” shared SBA Arkansas District Director Edward Haddock. “Janell and Kristen are to be commended for their work in making sure our rural small businesses have the resources they need.”
“At the SAU ASBTDC, we strive to make a difference each day for our small business community,” said Morton. “Small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, and we are honored to support them. This award acknowledges the excellence and innovation of our efforts. All of our work is made possible through the support, leadership and collaboration of our friends and partners. We particularly appreciate our host university and family of colleagues at SAU and the Rankin College of Business as they partner with us in our endeavors.”
“I am honored to be recognized, along with Janell, with this award,” said Cribb. “The best part of my job is working alongside aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs and watching their dreams come true. We seek to strengthen our rural communities by supporting entrepreneurs and providing a variety of services and resources to help them start, grow, and succeed.”
Cribb said small-town communities have a special place in her heart “I grew up in a town with less than 1,000 people, and I want all of these communities to thrive. A piece of that is supporting those entrepreneurs who want to make a difference. None of this would be possible without our many friends and partners including SAU, the Rankin College of Business, and community leaders and organizations across our nine counties. We cannot thank them enough for their encouragement, leadership, and partnership.”
SAU has hosted an ASBTDC regional office on its Magnolia campus since 2002. Part of the David F. Rankin College of Business, the Center serves prospective and current small business owners in nine counties in southwest Arkansas.
“I am thrilled the ASBTDC is being recognized for its excellent work in helping small businesses in southwest Arkansas,” said Laura Fine, ASBTDC state director.
“Janell and Kristen are making a difference in our business community,” said Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Rankin College of Business. “I am glad to see this recognition of their outstanding work. We appreciate all they do to connect our students with small business projects, where they can benefit business owners and gain practical experience.”
“We appreciate SAU hosting the ASBTDC so that we can have a local resource for small business assistance,” said Christy Ouei, owner of the Mule Kick restaurant in Magnolia. “Both Janell and Kristen have provided Mule Kick with support beginning at conception through present-day operations. I frequently refer local entrepreneurs to their services. We at Mule Kick would like to congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition from the SBA.”
The ASBTDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration through a partnership with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the SAU David F. Rankin College of Business.