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Small-Business Development Center Bolsters Local Firms in East Central Indiana

Nurturing small businesses is the mission of the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center.

By Bill Lewis on June 16, 2022

Sea Salt & Cinnamon
Cat and Matt Creative

Small businesses are the engine powering the region’s economy.

Nurturing those businesses and making sure they have the resources they need to be successful is the mission of the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center.

“Small businesses are valuable for many reasons, one of which boosts local economies by keeping money within the community and supporting regional neighborhoods and other interests. In addition, they create jobs that are fueled by passion and improve the quality of place for those they serve,” says Peggy Cenova, regional director of the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center (ECISBDC).

In 2020-2021 alone, the ECISBDC served 742 clients, including 61 business startups that participated in one-on-one counseling or workshops.

Businesses benefit from loan application assistance, marketing the organization, creating strategic plans and helping with human resources issues.

“The majority of clients are startups, but we enjoy those existing businesses that benefit from our assistance,” says Cenova, whose office is in Muncie.

No one knows the importance of those resources better than Krista Sides, founder of Chameleon College of Beauty Culture and Chameleon Salon Suites. The ECISBDC helped her with business plans and provided other assistance.

“It’s quite an overwhelming and kind of intimidating experience to write a business plan, but with support from a team like the ECISBDC, dreams do come true,” Sides says. “Peggy and the team were such an asset to me in writing my business plan. She broke down all the technical words, explaining in simple terms what everything meant without making me feel less intelligent, why these details are beneficial for me to know and suggested options to progress my business further.”

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Megan Renee Photography

It’s not unusual for a business to have a long-term relationship with the ECISBDC. “Peggy and I still speak monthly to check in and see where we’ve been and where we’re going. She is always there for an encouraging word to help me remember how far we’ve come and how well we are doing,” says Amanda Reninger, founder of Sea Salt & Cinnamon, a vegan food company in Muncie.

“They have helped us set and reach goals and kept us on track when we may swerve off our path. Peggy has so many community connections and works hard to help her clients succeed through these connections.”

Sides values Cenova’s practical advice. “I appreciate Peggy’s continued leadership, mentorship and emotional investment in my goals,” she says.

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