Business Assistance & Services

Business Assistance

What do you need? We can help.

Indiana County’s experienced economic development professionals provide businesses with one-on-one attention, tailoring their project management services to meet your individual business needs. We serve as a central point of contact for our network of local partners, to get your business connected to what you need.

We are here to help your business venture at every stage of growth and development:

• Are you exploring suitable business locations?
• Are you looking for low-interest financing for a project?
• Are you looking for tax incentives?
• Do you need training assistance for your workforce?
• Do you want to build your business network?
• Do you need assistance with broadband access or other infrastructure concerns?
• Do you want to explore exporting or other avenues for market expansion?
• Are you just looking for a referral regarding a specific challenge?
 

There is help within the CEO network of affiliates for just about every need you have.  Explore the highlighted links above as you navigate the website to find information specific to your needs, and when you’re ready, just one call or email to us will launch a portfolio of assistance and incentives that’s right for your business.  Our information and referral services are completely confidential and free of charge.

Business Services

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) is actively involved in many areas that influence the economic development of Indiana County and the region. From directly supporting many business services to addressing the diverse needs of the area’s workforce, IUP offers a host of resources that help businesses strengthen their competitive position. Learn more about IUP in our About Us section.

Many of IUP’s direct services to businesses are coordinated out of the Eberly College of Business, which has over 2,000 students enrolled in career programs such as Accounting, Business Education, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, Finance, General Management, and International Business.

Within the Eberly College of Business, the IUP Management Services Group is the umbrella group of faculty that oversees the outreach services to area businesses, both profit and nonprofit.

IUP Management Services Group

The MSG integrates student learning and entrepreneurship with diverse client needs, community interests, and funding streams for community agencies. IUP faculty members and students work in collaboration with area business executives, owners, managers, and entrepreneurs to help evaluate and achieve business objectives through sound planning and management.

They provide numerous specialty business services through the following business services and programs:

• Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
• Small Business Institute (SBI)
• Government Contracting Assistance Program (GCAP)
• Excellence in Entrepreneurial Leadership Center (ExcEL Center)
• Center for Family Business
• WEDnetPA GFT Grant Program

Find out more about the IUP Management Services Group from their website.


Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) supplies entrepreneurs with the education, information, and tools necessary to build successful businesses. One of the SBDC’s most valuable tools is their assistance in the preparation of business plans. The SBDC at IUP also maintains strong relationships with area economic development agencies and coordinates referrals for other types of business assistance.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to turn your idea into a business or you’re a small business wanting to expand, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania can help put you on the right path.

The SBDC provides no-cost, confidential consulting services to entrepreneurs and small business owners in areas ranging from developing a business plan to several Specialized Consulting Services, such as:

• Environmental Management
• Technology Commercialization
• International Business Assistance
• Engineering Development Services (in collaboration with Bucknell University)
• and more

Learn more about the IUP Small Business Development Center from their website.

Small Business Institute (SBI)

The Small Business Institute offers inexpensive assistance with specific functional needs to qualified local businesses. The SBI is part of the IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology’s business outreach effort.

The SBI provides business support services to local businesses and other organizations by working on specialized projects. Teams of highly skilled, motivated undergraduate/MBA students and experienced faculty members with professional consulting backgrounds provide a number of valuable services.This award-winning program can assist businesses in a range of areas:

MANAGEMENT – including:

• Business planning
• Feasibility studies
• New business venture/product development
• Competitor analysis
• Employee handbook and policy manuals, job analysis and descriptions

MARKETING AND MARKET RESEARCH – including:

• New product and market development
• Market analysis and marketing planning/strategy
• Promotional material development (brochures, logos, etc.) and advertising

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT – including:

• New/existing computer system analysis and development
• Database/information/accounting system analysis development and implementation

FINANCE AND FINANCIAL ANALYSIS – including:

• Cash flow analysis/proformas
• New product/business analysis/feasibility studies

ACCOUNTING– including:

• Accounting systems (needs assessment, software evaluation/selection/implementation)
• Operational and business plan budgeting
• Cost accounting

Find out more about the IUP Small Business Institute from their website.

 

Government Contracting Assistance Program (GCAP)

The Government Contracting Assistance Program (GCAP) provides procurement technical assistance to firms interested in selling goods or services to local, state, and/or federal governments. They supply individualized assistance with marketing strategies to reach government agencies. GCAP is funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The following services are provided at no cost:

•Computerized bid matching of clients products with government needs
•Procurement and product pricing history reports
•Military specifications and standards
•Research assistance to target government markets
•Workshops, seminars, and training sessions
•Library of self-help publications and resource data
•Counseling and one-on-one support

Learn about the Government Contracting Assistance Program on their website.

The ExcEL Center: Excellence in Entrepreneurial Leadership

The ExcEL Center at IUP enhances the culture of entrepreneurship, innovation, and new venture creation throughout the university and local community. By linking IUP to a network of community and business partners, the center provides students across all academic disciplines with opportunities to pursue an entrepreneurial path while continuing their education.

Students receive hands on entrepreneurial experience that enhances their undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship coursework, and businesses receive free assistance from aspiring entrepreneurs.

It’s a win-win opportunity for both the student and the employer.

 

Image of people sitting aroung large conference table
The Center for Family Business

The IUP Center for Family Business supports and educates family-owned and operated businesses. The Center provides professional presentations and the opportunity for roundtable discussions on topics relevant to family-owned businesses. Participants who own or run family-owned companies can meet with their peers in informal, facilitated groups to communicate on issues and solutions of interest to this particular type of business.

Get more information about the IUP Center for Family Business from their website.


Workforce Training 

WEDnetPA GFT Program

The WEDnetPA Guaranteed Free Training Grant Program (GFT) helps employers obtain grant funding for employee training programs.This Pennsylvania program provides qualified companies with money for training in a wide range of basic and high-tech topics.

Type of skills training covered under WEDnet:

Basic Skills Training provides up to $450 per eligible employee for basic and entry-level skills training. Some examples include but are not limited to:

• Business operations
• Manufacturing fundamentals
• Quality assurance
• Problem solving, communication, and teamwork

Information Technology Training provides up to $850 per eligible employee for advanced information technology skills training. Some examples include but are not limited to:

• E-Business commerce
• Information security
• Database development
• Computer programming, network administration

For more information, please review the program guidelines document.

Find out more from the WEDnetPA Program website.

Indiana County Chamber of Commerce

Indiana County Chamber of Commerce makes connecting with other business people easier and faster than ever before.

2021 Chamber Community Guide

Whether your organization is large or small or somewhere in between, Chamber of Commerce members are making the all-important connections for successful business relationships.
Whether it’s marketing their services, locating employees, or finding resources, members can put the word out for what they need. Then the network goes to work for them.
What’s more, small businesses and those on tight budgets can benefit from the referrals and advice of other members who share knowledge, advice, and expert tips for what works and
what doesn’t.

Gain local exposure in the Chamber’s weekly radio report. Include your sales literature in the Chamber’s newcomer and business assistance kits. Or create some buzz with official ribbon cuttings.
Check out the Chamber Benefits downloads on this page for some of the other benefits that the Chamber can offer your business.
For more information, visit the Chamber’s website or call Mark Hilliard, President of the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce, at (724) 465-2511.