Memo for fiscal year 2020, updated 2019-02-25

[Archived] Question #03: How is the target number of counseling sessions for start-up small businesses through SBDC set?


The target number of counseling sessions (500) for start-up small businesses through SBDC is significantly higher than the 2019 estimate of 215 and the 2018 actual of 194. How was this target set? Does staff have adequate time to conduct these sessions? Or are there not as many small businesses approaching SBDC for counseling? Do we know why there was a drop from 549 sessions in 2017 to 194 in 2018 - were there changes in staffing or outreach? (Vice Mayor Bennett-Parker)


The reason for the significantly higher levels of startup counseling sessions in FY 2016 and 2017 (416 and 549) is because the data reflected counseling sessions provided by the SBDC and Capitol Post, the business and personal incubator for military veterans and their spouses that is co-located with the AEDP and SBDC. Capitol Post is now a standalone 501(c)3 nonprofit. However, when the organization was first formed it was initially envisioned to be a component of the SBDC’s small business development programming (Capitol Post does not receive city funding and is funded predominately by a federal grant that AEDP administers along with private fundraising). As a result, we included counseling sessions provided by Capitol Post staff in our performance metrics until the organization became standalone, at which time we discontinued the practice of counting their sessions in the SBDC’s metrics. This is why the actual number of startup session decreased from FY 2017 to FY 2018.

The FY 2018 actuals are closer to the typical level of startup counseling sessions provided by the SBDC annually. In fact, the SBDC has provided 256 startup sessions through the first 9 months of this fiscal year which is above the FY 2019 target of 215. The SBDC and OMB have agreed to change the target of 500 to 275 to better reflect the typical number of sessions provided each year based on current budget levels and the background provided above. This change will be reflected in the FY 2020 Approved Operating Budget document.

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