SBDC plans move to new UHV building

Construction is almost complete on UHV University North, the university’s new academic and economic development building. The UHV Small Business Development Center is scheduled to move into the building later this month.

Area small business owners and those considering opening a business soon will have a new place to attend training workshops and visit with University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center advisors.

Joe Humphreys

The SBDC will relocate across Ben Wilson Street to UHV University North, the university’s new academic and economic development building. The move tentatively is slated for the last week of July.

The nine-member UHV SBDC staff has occupied the Totah Building since 2006.

“We’re excited about the move and being able to serve our clients in this new building,” SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said. “Our phone numbers and emails will remain the same, and we will continue to visit clients across our service area, so it will be easy to reach us during the transition.”

The move coincides with a larger university goal of working with the 11 counties surrounding Victoria to foster economic development. The new Center for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship will launch Sept. 1 inside UHV University North. Humphreys will serve as the center’s executive director.

Wayne Beran

The emphasis of the center will be partnering and collaborating within the 11 counties to realize rural job creation, increase community awareness and involvement in regional economic development, and better prepare the region for economic stability during cyclical downturns, said Wayne Beran, UHV vice president for administration and finance.

“Through training and education, Mr. Humphreys and his staff will promote internship programs with area businesses, be a regional facilitator and connector, provide marketing and strategic planning at the regional level, and increase opportunities for regional tourism,” Beran said.

University North is a three-story, 63,000-square-foot building located just northeast of the UHV University Center. The $12.7 million facility will open in time for the fall semester.

The UHV School of Business Administration also will move into University North. The SBDC business advisors will be located near faculty members who teach UHV’s graduate program in economic development and entrepreneurship.

Farhang Niroomand

“Having the SBDC in the same building as the business school and the new economic development center makes a lot of sense for collaborative reasons,” said Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration. “Many of these planned economic development projects will take cooperation between the SBDC and the business school. This building all along has been planned to be the economic development hub of the campus and our region, so it will be terrific to have small business leaders visit for appointments or training opportunities.”

Starting in August, the SBDC’s training workshops will take place in various places inside the new building. The rooms used will vary depending on the size and scope of the workshop. Rooms include the Welder Executive Conference Room, the Cloyde and Ethel Lee Tracy Foundation Conference Room, a finance computer lab, a 60-seat tiered classroom, the 200-seat Kay and Ron Walker Auditorium and a large Multi-Purpose Room with a seating capacity of 400.

The UHV SBDC is part of a nationwide small business assistance program that serves the small business community in partnership with federal, state and local governments. The center offers business advising, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up businesses in an 11-county area. For more information about the UHV SDBC, call 361-485-4485 or email

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.

Jeremy Shapiro