Gannon University Small Business Development Center provides no-cost consulting services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Whether you need help identifying local markets for your business, are developing a business plan and want a second opinion, or have compliance issues you'd like to clarify, SBDC consultants are ready to help you grow your business.

Business success requires both sufficient capital and the knowledge to use it wisely. SBDC consultants help entrepreneurs develop the planning, management, and financial skills necessary to make their business thrive. The SBDC’s one-on-one management consulting emphasizes education and guidance in finding practical solutions to business problems. Consulting is confidential and provided at no charge by a staff of skilled professionals. Services cover a range of topics relevant to small business owners:


Business/Strategic Planning

·         Business Viability Assessment

·         Market Analysis & Competitive Research

·         Business Plan Development

·         Strategic Planning

·         Commercialization of Technology

·         Business Structure


Capital Acquisition

·         Financing options

·         Loan Packaging

·         Equity Options


Financial Management

·         Accounting & Recordkeeping

·         Financial Management & Analysis

·         Taxes


Targeted Assistance

·         Online Business

·         Government Marketing

·         International Trade

·         Shale Energy

·         Business Disruption

·         Affordable Care Act



·         Customer Service

·         e-Commerce

·         Market Research

·         Marketing Materials/Promotion

·         Marketing Plan Development

·         Social Media


Environmental Management

·         Environmental Regulatory Compliance

·         On-site Assessments

·         Emissions Calculations

·         Permit & Plan Preparation Assistance

·         Record Keeping & Reporting Assistance

·         Greening Your Business

·         PA Material Trader



·         Developing Policies and Procedures

·         Inventory Control

·         Quality Control

·         Cost Control

·         Regulatory Assistance

·         Information Technology


Human Resources

·         Attracting, Hiring & Managing Employees

·         Compensation



·         Technology Commercialization & Marketing

·         SBIR/STTR Proposal Preparation Assistance

·         Product Feasibility Analysis

·         Product Development/Engineering Services



·         Manufacturing

·         Retailing

·         Service

 Targeted Services

The SBDC also offers services to small business owners through a number of specialized programs. These programs provide assistance in areas requiring greater depth of knowledge and experience beyond standard business management expertise.


Environmental Management Assistance Program [] (EMAP) - The Environmental Management Assistance Program provides statewide no-cost and confidential assistance with environmental regulations.  EMAP environmental consultants conduct on-site assessments and assist with understanding environmental regulations and preparing emission calculations and permit applications.  EMAP also helps small businesses “Go Green” and become more sustainable, identifying opportunities for cost savings and pollution reduction. The SBDCs and EMAP also host the business to business exchange, the Pennsylvania Material Trader [hyperlink text:], which provides an opportunity for small business to save money on raw materials and waste disposal costs.


Government Marketing [] - To help companies procure contracts with the federal, state, local and quasi-government agencies, Government Marketing services are available statewide to small businesses looking to diversify their sales streams.  Business owners will learn how to register with government databases, find contracts through Pennsylvania SBDC’s online Bid Match service, and gain feedback on developing government proposals.  To learn more about Government Marketing services in southeastern Pennsylvania, visit the Southeast Pennsylvania Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) [hyperlink text:].  For businesses located outside of Southeastern Pennsylvania, contact your local SBDC [hyperlink text:] to learn more about procurement resources available in your region.

Technology Commercialization [] - The SBDCs assist small businesses in Pennsylvania looking to determine the viability of technologies, obtain financing, or introduce new technologies to market. The Pennsylvania SBDC is a member of the Innovation Partnership [hyperlink text:] (IPart), a consortium of economic development and business assistance organizations located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania whose collective goal is to help early-stage technology companies in Pennsylvania secure federal funding opportunities. Through IPart, small businesses have access proposal preparation assistance including pre-proposal technical reviews and funding assistance for proposal preparation.


International Business [] - The SBDC can help established businesses grow their business overseas by helping to develop and implement exporting strategies for increased sales.  Services offered by certified international trade consultants include helping companies assess their international trade readiness, evaluating  products or services for export potential and helping to identify the best foreign market opportunities. Assistance is also available to develop strategic and marketing plans, identify foreign sales agents and distributors and review trade procedures and regulations.  Businesses are also able to learn more about technical and regulatory standards, trade financing and risk management in addition to foreign trade missions and international trade show opportunities.

Shale Energy [] - Small businesses, regardless of proximity to a primary drilling location, may be able to take advantage of Marcellus Shale supply chain opportunities to grow their business. Through a strategic business plan to enter the market, savvy business owners are able to find new opportunities in this expanding industry in Pennsylvania.    

Affordable Care Act – [] Find the latest updates and information on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and how it affects your small business.  From questions & answers for small businesses, to online ACA 101 webinars, the SBDC will help your business stay current on the most integral parts of the new Health Care law.