Like many Alexandrians, we were taken aback by the sudden announcement this summer that the Alexandria Small Business Development Center was being shuttered, its functions moved into the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and to the George Mason SBDC.
Our page 1 story, “Alexandria SBDC’s closure surprises many,” examines what happened and why.
It may well be, as several sources in this story contend, that the level of services to Alexandria businesses will remain as good or better than they were at the SBDC. Bill Reagan, founder and longtime director of the Alexandria SBDC, laments its demise in our story, as do several business owners.
Only time will tell if Alexandria’s small business owners will fare worse without the city’s own SBDC.
What we do know is that Reagan and the SBDC helped hundreds of businesses through the years, including this newspaper. We are grateful for the SBDC’s laser focus on small businesses, particularly locally owned ventures.
Our city owes thanks to Reagan, his longtime assistant – the late Gloria Flanagan – and all of the SBDC staff members and consultants who provided free assistance to Alexandria’s small businesses for 27 years.