The 2018 Economic Impact Study of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) provides solid evidence that entrepreneurs utilizing UGA SBDC assistance experience greater sales and employment growth than the state averages. The study found that the employment base of UGA SBDC’s existing business clients grew by 14.1 percent, while overall employment levels in Georgia increased by 1.8 percent. Also, during the same time, UGA SBDC existing business clients increased their sales by an average of 16.6 percent, while the average Georgia business experienced an increase in sales of 4.2 percent.

The tax implications of this incremental difference show that UGA SBDC clients (both existing and pre-ventures) generated nearly $9.3 million in state tax revenues and over $6.1 million in federal tax revenues beyond what they would have generated if their performance levels had been the same as that of the average Georgia business. These incremental tax revenues more than cover the entire UGA SBDC budget. Overall, satisfied, long-term business clients of the University of Georgia SBDC were responsible for the creation of an estimated 2,505 new jobs, over $264 million in incremental new sales, started 331 new businesses, and raised almost $189 million in capital for the year 2017.   

Utilizing an external marketing research vendor, the University of Georgia SBDC surveyed all clients who received five or more hours of consulting in 2016 inquiring as to the benefits of the services received and actual performance results.  A total of 711 clients returned usable surveys for a response rate of 37.1 percent. The survey provides an opportunity for feedback and comments. A few of the comments are included below.  Reading through the comments makes it easy to understand how 96 percent of the respondents stated that they benefited from the services of the UGA SBDC.

The report was prepared by Dr. James Chrisman of Mississippi State University. Dr. Chrisman also conducts the analysis and writes the report for the national impact study for America’s SBDCs, the national association of Small Business Development Centers. Across the country, incremental performance improvements also resulted in additional tax revenues exceeding the combined costs (budgets) of all SBDC programs.