The Navarro College Small Business Development Center was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Dallas/Fort Worth District 2011 SBDC of the Year.

To receive the award, Robin Lasher, Navarro College SBDC director, along with Dr. Kenneth Martin (vice president of Academic Affairs) and Dr. Harold Housley (dean of Business, Professional and Technical Education), attended the awards luncheon May 12 at the Hilton Hotel in Arlington.

The Navarro College SBDC serves four counties in the North Texas SBDC Network, which include Ellis, Freestone, Limestone and Navarro. The centerís main office is located on the Navarro College campus in Corsicana with satellite offices in Ellis and Limestone counties. Through a grant provided by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Navarro College SBDC has now added an additional satellite office in Freestone County. Both Freestone and Limestone County offices will also receive funding through the grant for part-time counselors.†

In 2007, Lasher initiated an Economic Gardening Program to help support and sustain entrepreneurial growth complementary to local economic development strategies and programs. Understanding the importance of providing small businesses with accurate information for making better decisions, one of the three pillars of Economic Gardening, the Navarro College SBDC provides research services that have positioned it as a recognized, in-house research center.

The four counties served by the center have experienced significant economic impact, which includes a $7.2 million USDA loan to Frazier & Frazier Industries, Inc.; a foundry in Limestone County; new equipment to expand operations nationwide; and in collaboration with local economic development, the launch of the Brick Street Farmers Market and Cinergy Cinemas in Corsicana.

In addition to exceeding all SBA milestones for 2009-2010, the Navarro College SBDC expanded its level of services in Limestone County with the addition of a satellite office in Mexia and hired a full-time counselor for the Navarro College Waxahachie campus.

To learn more about the Navarro College SBDC, call 903-875-7667.