UHV SBDC to offer free program on SBA business certification

The University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center will host a free workshop for business owners who want to learn more about two government programs that can help them better compete in the marketplace.

The “Becoming Certified” workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 18 in the Multi-Purpose Room of the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Those planning to attend should RSVP to the UHV SBDC by calling 361-575-8944 or 877-895-7232.

Debra Dimando-Werline
Debra Dimando-Werline

In cooperation with UHV, Debra Dimando-Werline, a Small Business Administration business development specialist, will host the informational seminar focusing on certification for programs that assist business development and historically underutilized businesses.

“These programs were created to help small and disadvantaged businesses better compete by giving them access to federal and private procurement markets,” Dimando-Werline said.

The SBA representative will discuss the Woman-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program as well as the Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program, which helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. She also will review a program that helps small and disadvantaged businesses.

“There are many historically underutilized business zones in Victoria and other parts of the UHV SBDC’s 11-county service area, including Calhoun, Gonzales, Karnes and DeWitt counties,” said Jean Smith, UHV SBDC training coordinator. “People who own a small business and want to get into government contracting will find it worth their while to attend this workshop.”

Jean Smith
Jean Smith

The UHV SBDC also will host programs in August by representatives from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. Consumer Credit Counseling Agency.

“These programs provide eligible firms with greater access to the resources they need to grow and develop their businesses,” Dimando-Werline said. “This, in turn, improves their ability to compete on an equal footing with other firms in the mainstream American economy.”

The UHV SBDC offers assistance on starting, growing and financing a business; contracting opportunities; and recovering from disaster. It also helps new businesses start and existing businesses expand through a combination of consulting and training in areas like market identification, raising capital and developing a business plan. Most of its services are free to area small business owners. UHV SBDC has clients in Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, DeWitt, Gonzales, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Refugio and Victoria counties.

For information on services the UHV SBDC offers, call 361-575-8944, email Interim Director Joe Humphreys at or visit

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342