Duquesne University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is available to help small businesses in Pittsburgh navigate the COVID-19 pandemic in the wake of Gov. Tom Wolf's decision to close physical locations of non-essential businesses.

"The devastating effect the pandemic has had on small businesses is profound," says Rich Longo, interim director of Duquesne's SBDC. "Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. These times have demonstrated the importance of the SBDC to help small business owners make informed decisions on what's best for their business."

During the initial two-week period, Duquesne's SBDC:

  • Assisted more than 500 businesses dealing with closures
  • Helped nearly 120 individuals with loan application processes
  • Fielded and responded to on average 30 calls per day
  • Developed an overview and process for how businesses can apply for various emergency economic disaster loans
  • Offered webinars that have each been filled to capacity.

Karl Chapple, owner of Beaver Falls-based Minuteman Press, says that the SBDC has been instrumental in helping his company shift its marketing efforts and adjust its business plan during this uncertain time.

"Our SBDC business consultant has provided solid council to help me think through the whole process from understanding the CARES Act, to managing through this time of scarce revenues, to positioning the business to thrive in the aftermath of the economic turmoil," says Chapple.

In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh's SBDC, Duquesne's SBDC is also offering both group and individual consultation sessions for small business owners affected by the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses.

"I could not be prouder of the efforts and work put forth by our business consultants, management staff and graduate students who have tirelessly fielded calls, hosted webinars, addressed e-mails and took calls-and continue to do so," says Longo.

For more information and to contact Duquesne's SBDC for assistance, visit www.duq.edu/sbdc, call (412) 396-1633, or email duqsbdc@duq.edu.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The Universitys academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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April 15, 2020