PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Eric Swift, Ed.D. an educator and entrepreneur with years of experience in the western PA higher education and small business communities, has joined the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center as a Management Consultant. With the Pitt SBDC, Dr. Swift will primarily support the Pitt SBDC’s outreach office at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and focus on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs in Indiana County.
In July 2022, the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) assumed leadership of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania SBDC. The Pitt SBDC will provide the same business consulting services to pre-venture, startup, and existing small businesses throughout Indiana County at no cost to the business owners under the banner of the University of Pittsburgh – IUP Outreach Center.
“Indiana County is Open for business, and we are happy to support the growth of local businesses. said Swift. “Our goal is to work with 80 business owners and have a $2 million dollar impact on the community.” Dr. Swift is available in-person appointments at IUP on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9-4pm. Appointments can be made by visiting the Pitt SBDC website at https://www.pasbdc.org/pittsbdc/.
The new arrangement will broaden the Pitt SBDC’s footprint into Indiana County along with its current service area of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence, and Washington Counties. The arrangement will be similar to the Pitt SBDC’s current outreach efforts in Beaver, Greene, and Washington Counties.
Ray Vargo, the longtime Director of the Pitt SBDC, has led the transition and will continue to oversee efforts at the IUP outreach center. “Our offerings will help open doors for new vendor/supplier relationships, access to capital, and other growth opportunities for those businesses in Indiana County,” said Vargo.
The University of Pittsburgh SBDC provides no-cost consulting, educational programing, and access to business building resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The Pitt SBDC is part of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) and serves the western Pennsylvania region. It is also designated as a Pennsylvania SBDC Center of Excellence in Digital Services, providing businesses with specialized services like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analyses, Social Media audits, e-Commerce consulting, as well as a PASBDC Center of Excellence in Supply Chain.
In addition to one-to-one business consulting, the Pitt SBDC offers regular programs like:
- First Step: Mechanics of Starting a New Business (offered monthly in-person and virtually)
- Second Step: Developing a Business Plan (offered monthly in-person and virtually)
- Abre Tu Negocio en Pittsburgh (Spanish language new business, offered quarterly)
- Doing Business With Pitt (to help small businesses establish vendor/supplier relationships with the University of Pittsburgh)
In 2020, the Pitt SBDC was named the nation’s #1 Small Business Development Center by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) out of roughly 1,000 like centers. In 2022, the Pitt SBDC helped more than 1,500 businesses (which support nearly 10,000 regional jobs) with nearly 15,000 hours of consulting services. The Pitt SBDC’s efforts also resulted in clients securing $17.5 million of business investment and the launch of more than 60 new businesses. It was also recognized as the Regional Export Promotion Program Member of the Year by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank). Small businesses in Indiana County interested in learning more about the University of Pittsburgh SBDC’s offerings or seeking no-cost confidential consulting may reach the Pitt SBDC by visiting sbdc.pitt.edu, emailing email@example.com, or calling 412-648-1542.
About the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Pitt SBDC, established in 1979, is within the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE), part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Pitt SBDC provides business owners with the information and tools necessary to build successful businesses. The Pitt SBDC’s mission is to develop and strengthen the businesses of southwestern Pennsylvania by imparting knowledge and expertise through professional consulting and education. The Pitt SBDC is a Center of Excellence for Digital Services and a Center of Excellence for Supply Chain as designated by the Pennsylvania SBDC. For more information, visit sbdc.pitt.edu.