UHV Small Business Development Center opens office in Cuero

Farhang Niroomand, left, UHV School of Business Administration dean; Lisa Barr, UHV Small Business Development Center associate director; Cuero Mayor Sara Post-Meyer; Patrick Kennedy, executive director of the Cuero Development Corp.; UHV President Vic Morgan; and UHV SBDC Director Joe Humphreys celebrate the opening of a UHV SBDC satellite office in Cuero during a June 3 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Cuero small business owners and entrepreneurs in DeWitt County now have more convenient access to business advisor services.

The University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center recently opened a satellite office in the Cuero Development Corp. office, 214 E. Main St. The SBDC office will be open every Friday. Lisa Barr, UHV SBDC associate director, will staff the office. The UHV SBDC serves an 11-county area, and part of the area Barr oversees includes DeWitt County.

“It’s exciting to have a permanent place to meet and serve DeWitt County clients,” Barr said. “We used to schedule visits in DeWitt County once a month. This arrangement gives us a home in Cuero and eliminates the constant back-and-forth of looking for meeting space.”

The process of opening an office in Cuero began with the city’s strategic plan for economic development. In July, the city updated its plan and made a goal to offer space in Cuero for the UHV SBDC, said Patrick Kennedy, executive director of the Cuero Development Corp.

“We wanted to make this a one-stop shop for local business owners,” Kennedy said. “The UHV SBDC can offer services we’re not equipped to handle, so this is a great partnership for our county and community.”

The weekly access to a business advisor will be an extra boon for business owners looking to receive assistance from the Cuero Development Corp. As part of the application process, businesses must work with an SBDC business advisor and accomplish certain goals.

Customers already have come by the new location for assistance, Kennedy said.

“We are excited to have SBDC and Ms. Barr in Cuero to assist our business owners in whatever way they need, whether it be a business plan, help with employee training or budgeting,” Cuero Mayor Sara Post-Meyer said.

The satellite location also serves as a learning experience before establishing others in the UHV SBDC’s 11-county service area, Barr said. The UHV SBDC already has satellite offices in Gonzales and Port Lavaca.

The UHV SBDC offers assistance on starting, growing and financing a business; contracting opportunities; and recovering from disaster. Most of its services are free to area small business owners in Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, DeWitt, Gonzales, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Refugio and Victoria counties. It is part of a nationwide small business assistance program serving the small business community and federal, state and local governments.

To make an appointment at the Cuero office, call the UHV SBDC at 361-485-4485 or the Cuero Development Corp. at 361-275-8178.

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.