North Country SBDC celebrating 25 years helping small businesses

The majority of the SBDC's referrals come from word of mouth, said Leibowitz. Other agencies and organizations the SBDC works with, such as the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce and private lending institutions constantly refer new and would-be small business owners to the center, which Leibowitz said can be a great asset to anyone looking to make their business profitable and sustainable.

"There's a lot to running a business. There's a lot of aspects and there's something about getting an objective perspective," said Leibowitz. "It's amazing the things we can point out to people, the things they may not see ... There are certainly more businesses out there that can benefit from our assistance."

Though the North Country SBDC can be proud of its anniversary, said Leibowitz, it wouldn't have been possible without the small business owners themselves, he noted.

One business, Big Daddy's Restaurant in the town of Saranac, is among those who have sought the services of the SBDC. Big Daddy's owner Katherine Pellerin said she credits the SBDC - in particular business advisor Andrew S. Allison - for helping her understand the requirements of starting her business nearly two years ago.

"Andy was just a great help," said Pellerin. "I wouldn't have been able to get it off the ground without [the SBDC]."

However, Leibowitz said business owners like Pellerin are the ones who deserve the accolades.

"I really have to give most of the credit to our clients. They're the ones who have taken the risk," he said. "They're the entrepreneurs who came up with the business ideas and really made things work. They just needed a little bit of support and that's where the SBDC came in."

The North Country SBDC will host an open house at their office, located at 194 U.S. Oval in the second floor of the OneWorkSource building, Friday, Jan. 8. The event will be held from 1-4 p.m., with a program beginning at 2 p.m. featuring guest speaker Dr. John C. Ettling, president of SUNY Plattsburgh.

For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.northcountrysbdc.org.

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