Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver was joined by Small Business Development Center (SBDC) officials and local business owners at Love City Brewing to highlight the resources available to small business owners to help them grow their business online. The event is part of Pennsylvania Small Business Week which is taking place May 1-7, 2022, as proclaimed by Governor Tom Wolf.
“eCommerce, or selling products online, has been around for many years, but the trend has accelerated over recent years,” Acting Secretary Weaver said. “But for many small businesses, eCommerce doesn’t come naturally. They may not know if it’s right for their business. They may not know where to start. That’s why DCED and the SBDC network has made many new resources available to help small businesses across Pennsylvania start and succeed in the eCommerce ecosystem.”
Over the past two years, consumers have accelerated their online shopping habits, and adding eCommerce as a revenue stream is more critical than ever for small businesses to succeed. The PA Business One-Stop was created to help entrepreneurs and small business owners connect with the resources they need to start or grow a business, all in one place. In coordination with the SBDCs, the One-Stop Shop has recently added a new section dedicated to eCommerce. It includes information about where to start, how to build a brand online, and where to find experts that can help take business eCommerce initiatives to the next level.
The SBDCs, funded by DCED, also provide valuable one-on-one expertise to small business owners about eCommerce through its Digital Connect program. Supported by $300,000 in matching funds provided by DCED, Temple SBDC received $1.2 million in funds through the U.S. Economic Development Administration to create the Pennsylvania Digital Transformation and eCommerce Program (PADTEP). PADTEP enabled the Digital Connect program to greatly expand its offerings and provide eCommerce technical expertise to small businesses in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.
Diversity and Impact of Small Businesses in PA
- 39.4 percent of small business owners are women
- 16.6 percent are racial minorities
- 4.2 percent are Hispanic/Latino
- 6.3 percent are veterans
- 13,690, or 88.2 percent, of Pennsylvania firms that exported goods in 2019 were small businesses – and small firms exported goods worth $12.5 billion
- For every $100 spent at a small business, $48 goes back into the local economy in which the business is located
State Resources for Small Businesses
DCED and our partner network across the commonwealth offer many resources to help small businesses grow.
- The PA Business One-Stop Shop (BOSS) is the first point of contact for Pennsylvania business development. The BOSS team helps connect and guide businesses through all stages of development — from planning and startup to operating and expanding.
- The 16 Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) serve all 67 counties and provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions on how to start and grow their business. The SBDCs are funded in part through DCED.
- There are several funding programs for small diverse businesses, including the Small Diverse Business Capital Access Program (SDBCA), Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority (PMBDA), and the Business Opportunities Fund (BOF) to help disadvantaged and small diverse businesses access financing.
- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners provide both early-stage, technology-based firms and established manufacturers with funding, business and technical expertise, and access to a network of innovative, expert resources.
- The PA Office of International Business Development can assist small businesses looking to export goods to foreign markets.