Gannon University Small Business Development Center


Although many things have changed over the last four decades, the Gannon University Small Business Development Center (GUSBDC) in Erie, Pennsylvania has remained ready and able to assist the regional small business community. Whether entrepreneurs need help identifying local markets, developing a business plan or identifying compliance issues, SBDC consultants are ready to help.

GUSBDC is dedicated to promoting economic growth in the community. The GUSBDC’s team provides no cost confidential one-on-one business consulting to assist with business start-ups, growth, loans, marketing, government contracting, technology and more. “We have the resources to help you start, grow or manage your business,” states GUSBDC Director Maggie Horne.

Making an Impact

Since 1981 the Gannon University Small Business Development Center has been providing one-on-one consulting and educational programming to start-up and existing small businesses in Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Warren counties. Over the last 40 years, GUSBDC has worked with more than 14,000 clients generating more than $500 million in capital formation in the region.

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 team of skilled professionals. GUSBDC also offers low-cost programs and workshops to strengthen business knowledge and apply it immediately.

Over the years, services provided by GUSBDC have evolved to address the challenges and opportunities the small business community has faced. In the last two years, through the shutdown, recovery and stabilization, GUSBDC has focused on providing services and resources to assist its clients through the pandemic challenges.

New Offerings

In 2020, GUSBDC was designated as the Center of Excellence for Tourism. The Center’s experienced team provides ongoing educational and training programs on tourism-related topics, individual and group consulting to tourism industry businesses, and assistance with funding resources for tourism-related businesses to access capital and other programs for operations, growth and sustainability.

Most recently the SBDC Tech Team was launched and a podcast studio was created to address the digital transformation needs of small businesses to adapt to consumer buying behavior. The SBDC Tech Team, comprised of Gannon University students, received an award from the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center lead office for its work as an essential component for assisting many small businesses with the creation of websites and developing social media presence during the pandemic. The SBDC Tech Team continues to benefit clients through the development of key digital solutions for their small businesses. GUSBDC is also developing podcasts highlighting the Center, GUSBDC clients and the economic development resources available to the business community.

What’s Ahead

Looking forward to the continuing economic recovery in 2022, GUSBDC will focus on providing guidance and services related to business start-ups and small business operations. The small business community will continue to benefit from the synergistic environ- ment within the Center for Business Ingenuity, which includes GUSBDC, Erie Technology Incubator, Gannon Beehive and Dahlkemper School of Business. Each of these entities are focused on providing essential resources to the region’s business community.

“For 40 years,” says Horne, “GUSBDC has been assisting its clients through many challenges and opportunities and is positioned to continue to serve the small business community to start, grow and prosper!”

The Gannon University Small Business Development Center offers no-cost, confidential consulting services for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start a business.
Address: 900 State Street, Suite 100, Erie, PA 16501
Phone: 814/871-7232