Utah State University
Marion Bentley

LOGAN — Utah State University was recently selected by the Small Business Administration to host the Utah Small Business Development Center Network.

The new lead center will be located at the Logan campus through USU Extension and will include regional service centers throughout the state. USU’s agreement with the Small Business Administration takes effect April 1 and will be renewed annually.

The network, which currently hosts 15 centers at colleges and universities around the state, will provide business owners with advice, mentoring and training to help launch and grow their businesses. It has been hosted by Salt Lake Community College for the past 20 years and by the University of Utah for 15 years prior to that.

Marion Bentley, director for the new USU-hosted program, said the university is the perfect fit to host the network since USU already has development centers at central campuses in Logan and Price, and at regional campuses in Brigham City, Tooele, Vernal, Blanding and Moab.

“We are well-equipped for this opportunity and are excited that we will now get to work even more closely with the SBA and Governor’s Office of Economic Development partners and our sister colleges and universities throughout the state,” Bentley said in a statement. “Our goal is to help Utah entrepreneurs and businesses be successful, to help strengthen our economy and to provide jobs and employment for Utah citizens.”

USU will now begin a search to recruit a state director who will manage the network's programs and services while working through the transition with the service centers and staff throughout the state.