An accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers.
Due to current events relating to COVID-19, the SBDC Staff will be working remotely from home. The best form of communication is email. We will be checking email throughout the day and will attempt to respond back to you in a timely manner. Thank you for your patience and please stay well.
The mission of the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center is to grow the economy of the Westmoreland and Fayette County area by providing entrepreneurs with the education, information and tools necessary to build successful businesses.
The Small Business Development Center at Saint Vincent College began in 1984. The Saint Vincent College SBDC is one of 18 Small Business Development Centers in Pennsylvania and is an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers.
The Saint Vincent College SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a small business in Westmoreland and Fayette Counties. From helping aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, to helping small firms expand, to providing the information every business person needs to make critical decisions, the SBDC is the resource entrepreneurs in all industry sectors can turn to for help -- help that can make the difference between success and failure.
The Saint Vincent College SBDC is funded by:
Funding support and resources are provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development, through a cooperative agreement with the U. S. Small Business Administration, and through support from Saint Vincent College. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Special arrangements for persons with disabilities can be made by calling the Small Business Development Center at 724-537-4572. All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
Links and more information for each event will be posted in the near future.
Survival & Success Beyond COVID-19 – February 26, 2021
First Step to Small Business Success – March 10, 2021
First Step to Small Business Success – April 14, 2021
First Step to Small Business Success – May 12, 2021
First Step to Small Business Success – June 9, 2021
By providing entrepreneurs and small businesses with the tools they require to build and grow successful businesses, the Saint Vincent College SBDC is having a positive impact on the Commonwealth.
Client Impact During the Time Period of 10/1/19 to 9/30/20:
The Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center goes to great lengths to ensure that business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are armed with the resources necessary to make intelligent business decisions. With the link below, you will find an array of resources -- tools -- that will help you in your small business endeavors. Check back often as we continually update this section with the resources you deserve to help grow your business.
Latrobe Chamber of Commerce
Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce
Fay-Penn Economic Development Council
Fayette County Chamber of Commerce
Ligonier Chamber of Commerce
Norwin Chamber of Commerce
Environmental Management Assistance Program
James H. Kunkel
James Kunkel is the Executive Director of the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center. In this position he heads a team of management consultants and educational programmers whose mission is to provide professional planning, technical assistance, education and information to small and medium sized businesses. The Saint Vincent College SBDC focuses on the benefits resulting from strategic business planning and sound financial management. Mr. Kunkel earned his masters degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from IUP, where he graduated magna cum laude. He received his bachelor-of-science degree in business management, graduating from Penn State University. He has also successfully completed faculty development certificate training in international business at the University of South Carolina and the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird Management Center). In addition to his duties within the SBDC, Mr. Kunkel is also an adjunct professor at Saint Vincent College where he teaches two courses: Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Global Management.
Timothy J. Bates
Tim has been a Business Analyst with the Center since 2000. He received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Saint Vincent College in 1987. Following graduation he was employed with First Virginia Bank of Falls Church, Virginia from 1987 through 1990. He managed retail branch offices for the bank in their Northern Virginia territory. His duties included business loan development and relationship development as well as consumer loan development. Following this he worked for National City Bank of Pennsylvania from 1990 to 1999. His duties with the institution included Business Development in all industry sectors for loan needs under $500,000. He also worked to develop a SBA loan portfolio for a 3 branch network. During this time he became proficient in Agriculture Lending through the use of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Guaranteed Lending arm of the USDA. Through this Agricultural work he developed a working relationship with the Westmoreland County Penn State Cooperative Extension Office.
Victoria A. Gyenes
Global Trade Manager
Vickie Gyenes is the Global Trade Manager for the SBDC. She has earned the National Association of Small Business Development Centers’ 2010 State Star, an award for demonstrating exemplary performance and a strong commitment to small business. Vickie’s work with the Center for Global Competitiveness helped the SBDC claim the President of the United States “E” Award for Excellence in May 2010; one of the most prestigious forms of recognition offered by the U.S. Government to those involved in business or business service. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence from Saint Vincent College and is a NASBITE International Certified Global Business Professional. Ms. Gyenes began her career in positions of order analyst, sales expediter, government contract coordinator, and as an international sales representative. Since, Vickie has worked as a marketing and trade specialist, market analyst/international trade specialist consultant providing over 10,000 hours of consulting time to small and mid-sized businesses. She has assisted companies with market research, strategic planning and lectured on pertinent business topics. In addition, she has planned and assisted delegations of local companies in trade mission preparation and implementation to Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, and the United Kingdom.
Anita Hudock has been with the SBDC since 1990. She serves as Office Manager for the Center. Her responsibilities include preparing, maintaining, and monitoring the Center’s fiscal budget activity and all grant-related records as required by both Federal and State funding source guidelines. As Office Manager she compiles and analyses cost data reports and prepares monthly invoicing, expenses reports, travel requisitions and invoices for payment. She also maintains and oversees records of staff productivity, grant deliverables, economic impact and small business milestones. In addition, she maintains and develops ties with the Center’s legislative offices, other economic development groups, and community offices to advance and promote the marketing objectives of the center. She has over 26 years of office experience, including her position as Executive Administration Assistant with a large workers compensation/general liability insurance firm.
The Saint Vincent College SBDC is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saint Vincent College
Small Business Development Center
Center for Global Competitiveness
300 Fraser Purchase Road
First Floor, Aurelius Hall
Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650
City of Lower Burrell
2800 Bethel Street
Lower Burrell, PA 15068-1401
Fayette County Area
Fay - Penn Economic Development Council
1040 Eberly Way, Suite 200
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
How do I get financing?
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.
What grants are available for my business?
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.
Can I get help from the SBDC if my business is set up as a non-profit business?
Because of the SBDC's funding guidelines, the Center is not able to assist businesses that are established as not-for-profit.
Who pays for the SBDC program?
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.
What are the requirements of the program?
To receive assistance from the Saint Vincent College SBDC, your business should be located in Westmoreland or Fayette counties.
My business has been established for some time. How can the SBDC help me?
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.
What is the cost for the SBDC services?
The SBDC provides no-fee consulting services. Minimal fees are charged for seminars and workshops to cover costs of instructors, materials, etc.
What can I expect from my consultant?
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.
How long will it take to write a Business Plan?
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.
How can the SBDC help someone just thinking of starting a business?
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.