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MACC’s Danny Lobina Wins State SBTDC Award

dannyMACC’s SBTDC Director Danny Lobina receives an award for the most outstanding performance by a new counselor from Chris Bouchard, Interim State Director of the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (SBTDC).

Moberly Area Community College’s Entrepreneurship and Business Development Center (EBDC) is a busy place. Between offering employee training for area companies, non-credit community classes, small business seminars, SCORE counseling and new business development, the building is a hub of creative energy.

And to cap off a successful year, Danny Lobina, Director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) won the state’s award for “For the most outstanding performance by a new counselor.” The award was presented at the state SBTDC annual employee luncheon and client banquet held in Jefferson City. Kim Erwin, EBDC Business and Industry Specialist, and Lobina were also recognized with certificates “For service above and beyond the call of duty by assisting the SBA Business Recovery Center following the May 2011 tornado in Joplin.”

The SBTDC is subcontracted to the EBDC through the University of Missouri. There are no other SBTDC’s on any community college campus in the state.

Winning this award is a well-deserved recognition for Lobina’s efforts. Lobina and before him, Chris Shoemaker, have worked tirelessly to establish the Center’s reputation as a valuable resource in northeast and central Missouri.

Through a joint venture between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the University of Missouri Extension, the Small Business & Technology Development Centers provide local businesses with start-up assistance including business counseling, market research, demographic profiles, financial analysis, pro-forma projections, and funding procurement. The SBTDC specializes in Economic Development through the coaching and training of entrepreneurs to advance the skill sets that will allow their businesses to start, succeed, and grow. The Center works with all levels of businesses including concept, start-ups, growth, mature, decline, mergers & acquisitions.

“We have a huge mission, but it boils down to helping new businesses get started and stay running. On the opposite end we analyze currently operating businesses and coach them on what is not working and what needs to change to run a more efficient company,” explained Lobina.

Lobina partners quite frequently with area economic development corporations, specifically Corey Mehaffy at Moberly’s MAEDC. They work to bring in new companies who are looking for a good fit for their facilities. They also sit down with entrepreneurs, advise them on their business plans, look over all of their financials and test the feasibility of the plan before literally taking them to the bank to discuss their loans. All of these services are free of charge to the client. It’s all part of the SBTDC’s mission.

In fact, in 2011, the Moberly SBTDC helped clients obtain over $1 million in financial assistance; assisted in putting 23 people to work, in the midst of one of the country’s highest unemployment periods in history; provided counseling services that led to the start-up of four new businesses such as Finspeed; and increased counseling to long-term clients from three clients to 27 clients. All of that came out of one small building on the far north side of MACC’s campus.

The power of partnering with MU’s SBTDC is that MACC now has a network of experts like Lobina at its fingertips. Lobina’s specialty is financial and business counseling. He’s had 15 years at Walgreens, a Fortune 100 company. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and a Master of Business Administration. And Lobina has been highly successful in identifying business needs through careful operational and financial analysis.

Lobina is active in the community and is a member of the Strategic Planning Committee for the University of Missouri Business Development Program, the Board of Directors at the Randolph Area YMCA, the Board of Directors at the Moberly Chamber of Commerce, the Moberly Area Community College Marketing Committee, the Colorado Technical University Curriculum Advisory Board, and is a member of the Moberly Rotary Club.

It’s the expertise that Lobina offers that businesses like Finspeed or Kaitlynn’s Deli and Ice Cream Shop in Brunswick come to the SBTDC to receive. He starts them at the very beginning of the process from understanding the concept of breaking even to writing a business plan and working a cost analysis. He even goes to the bank with clients when they are ready to ask for a loan.

“The number one reason that businesses don’t start is because they can’t obtain a loan. Either they don’t have the credit or the collateral to satisfy current banking requirements. We greatly increase the success rate if we partner with the business. The clients may know their business, but we know the business of business,” explained Lobina.

His goal is to take clients down one of two paths either to start a business, only 10% actually do, or to stop them from making a huge mistake with a bad business plan. Both paths are a success for the client and the SBTDC. It’s about educating entrepreneurs and that’s one of Lobina’s most significant duties.

“It doesn’t do the client any good for me to help them with their business if they don’t have the tools necessary to run it effectively. That’s why the education component to what we do is so essential,” he said.

The impact of centers like the EBDC is just beginning to make a dent in the communities they serve. But with the shift in the current economic climate to small and medium-sized new businesses, it will continue to prove a valuable asset for entrepreneurs.


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