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PJC Regents elect officers, receive SBDC update

Published or Revised June 27, 2017

The Paris Junior College Board of Regents elected 2016-2018 officers at its meeting on Monday, June 28. Continuing their roles are Board President Curtis Fendley and Secretary Berdie Gibson. Dr. Clifton Wilkerson will now be Board Vice President.

Brad Gottshalk, director of the Paris Small Business Development Center, gave an overview of the last five years at SBDC. A change in state leadership, a sharp reduction in the number of SBDC offices around the state, and a new focus from the state has led to an emphasis on helping existing businesses sustain and grow, rather than on new ones.

Gottshalk stressed that though this was the state’s direction, the SBDC in Paris continued to talk to anyone interested in starting or growing a business in PJC’s five county service area, including Lamar, Hunt, Hopkins, Delta, and Red River counties.

“One of the first things I tell anybody to do is make sure you’re vested in your idea,” said Gottshalk, “because nothing is worse than a business that starts and fails - nothing. So we go through a reality check with all these clients.”

SBDC is funded from three sources, the federal Small Business Administration, the State of Texas, and by PJC through a $50,000 annual cash match as well as in-kind funding and the facility, utilities and operating costs.

“Without PJC’s support,” said Gottshalk, “the SBDC services wouldn’t be available as they are now to businesses in the five counties. It is due to PJC support that the Paris SBDC wasn’t among the many offices closed statewide.”

In other business, the Regents:

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