Arlington Small Business Development Center Celebrates 15 Years of Success

Posted: October 25, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Throughout the years, the staff at the Arlington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has seen hundreds of entrepreneurs open successful businesses, from ethnic restaurants to software companies. Now they will celebrate the successes and milestones and look to the future at a 15th anniversary dinner and award ceremony on Oct. 28.

Federal, state and Arlington County elected officials, corporate CEOs, the Arlington SBDC’s successful clients, Mason staff and partners and friends will be in attendance at the event, which will be held at 7 p.m. in the Original Building, third floor auditorium, Arlington Campus.

The Arlington SBDC was established at the Arlington Campus as part of the Mason Enterprise Center and has served the local business community for 15 years with more than 3,000 clients. In the last two years, businesses assisted by the Arlington SBDC created and retained 180 jobs, increased their sales by more than $5 million and invested more than $1.2 million in their businesses.

“Each company that comes to us has a unique problem,” says Roger Stough, director of the Mason Enterprise Center. “We offer a wide variety of services. Some of the businesses that come to see us are more established, others are starting from the ground up.”

Because of its location in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., region, the Arlington SBDC, which is directed by Nalin Jain, has many minority entrepreneurs as clients. It has partnered with the Business Development Assistance Group to offer training in a number of different languages, including Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Hindi. Clients who do business overseas also utilize the Arlington SBDC’s International Trade Center, which provides comprehensive international trade assistance in areas such as export trade, market research and tax and legal considerations. All counseling is free.

In 2003, George Mason received $1.9 million in funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration to host the network of 29 Virginia Small Business Development Centers.

For more information on registering for the 15th anniversary celebration, visit the center’s web site or call Pratibha Shenoy at 703-993-8128.

Write to at