Small business center leader speaks to Rotary Club

Published 4:48 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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Donald Mills, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Alabama (UWA), was the guest speaker at the Selma Rotary Club on Monday.

Mills explained to Rotary members that the SBDC at UWA is a network member of the Alabama Small Business Development Center Network.

“We provide consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow small business operations,” Mills said. “The mission of the Small Business Development Center at The University of West Alabama is to grow the economy in the Black Belt.”

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While Center services are targeted to Choctaw, Clarke, Marengo, Sumter, and Wilcox counties, Mills said Selma and Dallas County residents can get financial assistance and receive free, confidential consultations.

Training topics range from preliminary operation for those planning to start a business to advanced seminars focused on the needs of the experienced business owner.

A Mobile native and Alabama State graduate, Mills said it’s always important to help local communities.

“I have a vision for small businesses because it is the backbone of communities,” Mills said. “We help people get where they need to be. Some people don’t know how to take advantage of resources. We had some challenges with broadband in some areas.”

Mills said lessons he learned some interesting facts during the process to help farmers develop their businesses, including the difference between a mule and a donkey and what wheat looks like.