SUNY Canton SBDC Posts $22 Million in Economic Impact, Expands Resources


The SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has played a vital role in helping north country businesses throughout the pandemic and continues to expand its services.

In the 2020 fiscal year, the SBDC generated almost $22 million in economic impact while helping create 91 new jobs and save 1,514 jobs through its offices at SUNY Canton and Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh. SBDC business advisors saw over 500 clients seeking COVID-19 disaster assistance. Those clients secured over $19 million in loans from the Small Business Administration, Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and local disaster loans. These efforts led to the creation of 63 new jobs and helped save more than 1,400 jobs.

Nicole Oulette holds a sign that says

“Businesses are changing rapidly and permanently amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SBDC Director Dale A. Rice. “The future of small business does not have to be limited by geography or defined by a virus. We’re able to help our entrepreneurs evolve to meet their customers in addition to linking them with any and all resources available.”

The SUNY Canton SBDC helped numerous businesses prepare reopening plans. The need for added assistance allowed the SBDC to hire new area consultants and employees through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding.

This level of impact has been echoed across New York. The New York State SBDC has 22 Regional Centers, and more than 40 outreach offices located at SUNY, CUNY and private university campuses.

“The Statewide outcomes for the NYSBDC were record breaking,” said Brian Goldstein, state director for the New York State SBDC. “During the Fiscal year 2020, the NYSBDC generated over $500 million in economic impact, helped create 4,500 new jobs, helped save over 26,000 jobs, and helped create 2,100 new businesses.”

More than 22,000 small businesses received one-on-one advising, and more than 25,000 small businesses received training services, according to Goldstein. The results were the highest in the organization’s 35-year history. 

Expanding Resources

The SUNY Canton SBDC, Saint Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Saint Lawrence County Industrial Development Authority and others are partnering with Nicole Ouellette of Breaking Even Communications to provide businesses in the north country with online business support over the coming months.

Ouellette, an online marketer who runs Anchorspace Potsdam will be working as a consultant to expand communications among area business owners through a series of workshops and online collaboration.

“The goal is to establish an online group of local small business owners to address the current challenges with in-person collaboration,” Ouellette said. “We’re all keeping to ourselves a little bit more right now. Creating meaningful business-focused conversations online can create new opportunities and help drive innovation.”

One initiative will be working groups, which will be geared toward helping businesses get a specific task done, including setting up and running Facebook or Instagram ads and creating an online payment form for donations and simple sales. Those interested can learn more or sign up to attend a working group.

A second initiative is a Start Your Online Store Bootcamp where for one weekend in November, business owners can come into Anchorspace Potsdam or join in a virtual meeting to get their store set up in Shopify, Square, or Etsy as part of the Empire State Digital initiative. There will be a product photography station, snacks and lunch from local businesses.

The final initiative is creating an online discussion community for area business owners to connect with each other over Slack, a business communication software platform. Those interested in joining the community are encouraged to connect with their SBDC counselor for details.


About the SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center 

With offices at SUNY Canton and at Clinton Community College, the SBDC offers free direct counseling and a wide range of management and technical assistance services. Small business advisors help start-up companies develop business plans, assist existing businesses as they prepare to expand or offer industry specific resources. Business planning services are provided free of charge. It is one of 1,000 Small Business Development Centers to provide no-cost business consulting and training to more than a million existing and startup small businesses each year.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.