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San Diego Small Business Development Center and
Center for International Trade Development to separate

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011

Jim Schneider, jschneider@swccd.edu                                                         


CHULA VISTA -- After 22 years of working together, it was announced today that the San Diego Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Center for International Trade Development (CITD) will be reorganized.

In October the centers made the official decision to split in order to maintain their eligibility for state grants, but the separation will not come into effect until January 1, 2012. Formally recognized as the Small Business Development and International Trade Center (SBDITC), the program has been a blend of both the San Diego SBDC and the CITD, both hosted by Southwestern College. Both centers aim to provide business consultation and bolster economic growth in their regions on behalf of the educational institution.

“We look forward to continuing our commitment to fostering the growth of San Diego businesses through international trade,” said CITD Director Victor Castillo at the last meeting of the SBDITC Advisory Committee today.  “Operating a combined program with the SBDC was very rewarding but we are looking forward to focusing resources to specifically address international trade within the business community.”

Jim Schneider was appointed acting director of San Diego SBDC on November 1 and has been working to oversee the transition.

Schneider said that, though the centers were once very dependent on one another, both have become so successful that the directors are poised to look at this change as an opportunity to focus on their individual missions.

“I am honored and excited to help with the transformation and growth of the SBDC. Both programs have benefited from the cooperative efforts of the last twenty years,” Schneider said.

“The most important aspect of this transition is to continue to grow viable resources in our small business community,” said Regional Director of the San Diego and Imperial SBDC Network Debbie Trujillo. “The SBDC is a very strong organization and we are taking advantage of the change to strengthen what we do on all levels.”

The mission of both programs is to support the success of business in the region. The SBDC focuses on professional management consulting and training.  The CITD helps businesses with international trade, including introductory and advanced import/export assistance.

Over the last five years the local SBDC network has assisted more than 12,000 businesses in key areas that include reducing costs, increasing sales, expanding market share, accessing capital, social media, marketing, financial management, government procurement, and international trade. Through SBDC assistance, clients have generated more than $41 million in capital infusion into the San Diego/Imperial economy.

The SBDC may be reached by calling (619) 482-6388, or visiting www.growmybiz.org. To access CITD services contact vcastillo@swccd.edu, or visit www.citd.org.