Although the economic recession in Georgia continues, survey results show that small businesses that plan for change and strive to improve their management skills continue to perform better than the average Georgia business.

The study shows that the employment base of SBDC’s existing business clients grew by 14.4 percent in 2011, while overall employment levels in Georgia increased by 1.0 percent. Also, during the same time period, SBDC existing business clients increased their sales by an average of 13.6 percent, while the average Georgia business experienced an increase in sales of 4.4 percent. The tax implications of this incremental difference show that Georgia SBDC clients (both existing businesses and pre-ventures) generated more than $8.7 million in state tax revenues and more than $7.9 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 SBDC budget. Overall, satisfied, long-term business clients of the Georgia SBDC Network were responsible for the creation of an estimated 2,960 incremental jobs and $241.9 million in incremental new sales for the year 2011. Approximately 96 percent of the respondents indicated that they benefited from the services provided by the Georgia SBDC.

All clients who received five or more hours of consulting in 2010 were e-mailed a questionnaire that assessed the benefit of the services and actual performance results in 2010 and 2011. The surveys also evaluated clients’ perceptions of the assistance provided as well as their business performance in 2010 and 2011. The questionnaire and calculations follow a national model used by every SBDC program across the country, and all responses are analyzed by an independent researcher. A total of 774 clients returned usable surveys for a response rate of 45.8 percent.

The Georgia SBDC has 17 offices across the state providing management, finance, and marketing consulting services, as well as a variety of training programs. The Georgia SBDC’s principal funding sources are The University of Georgia and the U. S. Small Business Administration. For more information, please visit www.georgiasbdc.org.