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August 25, 2000

Backed by Increased Support,
Center for Small Business Once Again Offers
Free Assistance this Fall

The Center for Small Business at California State University, Sacramento is accepting requests from small businesses in the Capital Region for free management assistance during the fall 2000 semester. Now completing its 31st year of operation, the center is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the United States.

Led by support from Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and Resource Capital, a record number of financial institutions and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District are working with the center this year to provide management services to the small business community. The other financial institutions include Bank of the West, Union Bank, CalFed Bank, US Bank, Guaranty Federal Bank, Commerce Security Bank, Placer Sierra Bank, First Bank of California, Sacramento Commercial Bank and Bank of Sacramento. In addition, the center has a new agreement with SMUD to provide specialized management services to some of its customers.

"The relationships we have with the financial community, and now with SMUD, provide us with a great opportunity to provide much needed services in 2000," says Dennis H. Tootelian, the center's director. "This is an excellent example of a private-public partnership that benefits the community, and we are especially pleased to have SMUD with us."

In 1999, the Center provided assistance to nearly 150 small firms in the Capital Region. At an average of more than 64 hours per client, this meant more than 9,500 hours of service were provided by CSUS students.

"Demand for our services has increased significantly," Tootelian says. "We attribute this to the fact that more small businesses are experiencing rapid growth during these economic times and they need help in planning for that growth. Additionally, supporters of our center are referring their customers to us for service. This is a record number of hours per client, attesting to the amount of effort put in by our students. Many small businesses could not afford to pay for this amount of time and effort, and that's why we are here."

Most of the assistance being requested is for marketing plans and overall business plans. Tootelian noted that: "The number of requests for help with some aspect of planning has increased approximately three-fold. It seems that small business owners are increasingly recognizing that they have to plan for what they do."

Free services in all areas of business - other than tax and law - are provided by students under faculty supervision. Those interested in receiving assistance should contact the Center at (916) 278-7278 as soon as possible.


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