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Rodríguez Named to Direct TAMIU’s Small Business Development Center Posted: 9/16/20

Rodríguez Named to Direct TAMIU’s Small Business Development Center

 

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Incoming director of Texas A&M International University’s  Small Business Development Center (TAMIU-SBDC), Norma L. Rodríguez, is ready for the challenge of leading the Center’s advocacy and service to small businesses. 

A big part of that challenge is being able to deliver vital services… despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Advising and supporting small business owners and possible small business owners is at our very core…and the pandemic can’t change that.  What we can do is help small businesses to focus on options available, strategic initiatives they should undertake now, and short and long-range planning that can keep them viable,”  Rodríguez  said.

As it has in all elements of daily life, the pandemic has likewise dictated all aspects of small business life.

“It’s no surprise that we’ve spent approximately 300 hours assisting nearly 200 small business clients with COVID-19 recovery activities,” she observed, “these include SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loans, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other COVID recovery support services.  We’re currently transitioning  to assisting with the PPP forgiveness efforts, while continuing with startup services and expanding existing businesses.”

One of the TAMIU-SBDC’s most popular initiatives, the Small Business Management Program, which in the past has seen an annual average of 120 individuals complete the program, will now be offered virtually, she said.

“Our first webinar class will start online October 6 and continue through December 2020.  It includes topics like The Art of Starting a Business, Anatomy of a Business Plan, Managing Cash, Keeping the Books, Understanding Credit and Budgeting, Small Business Tax Strategies, Basic Quickbooks, Beyond Brick and Mortar and Legal Issues, for Micro-Entrepreneurs,”  Rodríguez  explained.

Other webinars on focused business areas are also scheduled regularly.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, a no-fee webinar on “COVID-19, Cybersecurity and Your Business” will be offered and feature Troy Richardson, business development specialist for the University of Texas SBSC at San Antonio, Institute for Economic Development.

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, TAMIU-SBDC business advisors will offer a no-fee Q&A session offering insight on growing, financing, pivoting, selling a business and more.

In virtual ceremonies later this month, TAMIU’s SBDC team will  be named the third consecutive recipients of the Small Business Development  Center Excellence and Innovation Award. TAMIU-SBDC client Letty Santos, an STXCA, LLC/Credit Score Expert, will be recognized as Financial Services Champion of the Year.

Rodríguez, a TAMIU alum who earned her BBA with a concentration in Management, said being part of the TAMIU campus and its outreach  is special.

“The University is such a driving force in our community and region’s growth and advancement. It’s exciting to be on campus, offer my passion for small business success, and share in TAMIU’s special mission and legacy,” she noted.

TAMIU Dean of the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business,  Dr. Steve Sears, outlined Rodríguez’ charge.

“As director of the TAMIU-SBDC, Norma  will drive its strategic growth, partnership development, and oversee its talented staff. She has 15 years of business advising experience and specializes in QuickBooks, business startups, and business expansions.  She brings  a seasoned perspective on the small business community. The TAMIU-SBDC has provided essential services to thousands in the  tri-county area business community for 33 years.

“They help small businesses, the backbone of the American economy,  to flourish here. As we work together and gradually move from pandemic response to recovery, the TAMIU-SBDC will be a critical tool in our shared journey to that recovery.  We’re delighted to have Norma here to champion those efforts, ” Dr.  Sears said.

For additional information on TAMIU-SBDC services, visit the website at http://sbdc.tamiu.edu, call 956.326.2827, email sbdc@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 321.  Offices are open for services Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Campus visitors must wear face-coverings inside and outside campus buildings and observe social distancing and gathering standards.

Additional information on the University’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 Pandemic is available on its online COVID-19 Response Center, located at https://www.tamiu.edu/coronavirus/index.shtml

Norma L. Rodriguez, SBDC Director
Norma L. Rodríguez is ready for the challenge of leading TAMIU's Small Business Development Center’s advocacy and service to small businesses.

 

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