The Gannon Small Business Development Center has been helping both new and existing businesses in our region since 1981.

The center has had a part in creating thousands of jobs by offering expert advice to help owners achieve success.

And after an initial workshop, services are free, paid for with state and federal funds.

The Gannon SBDC Executive Director Maggie  Horne says helping a  new business owners develop a business plan is important.

So is learning how to crunch the numbers.

She said, "So developing a balance sheet, developing cash flow statements, and understanding the ability to finance your operations is not easy and we can help with that."

The center helps companies not just here in Erie County, but in Crawford, Warren and Mercer counties as well.

Since the center opened, it has helped more than 10,000 new and existing small companies.

And many past clients are not afraid to  keep coming back for help again and again.

Horne said, "Any smart business owner knows they don't know it all and they seek assistance in the network, and we believe we are part of the business network."

And Horne thinks more and more small businesses will use its services in the years ahead.

She said, "We have the ability, and very good people. We have a region that is ripe for the small business economy. And there is no reason that anybody cannot do it, with the right resources and commitment."