PHILADELPHIA, PA — On August 1st, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) met with business owners for an in-person small business roundtable at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. The roundtable highlighted the positive impact of Temple University Small Business Development Center (SBDC)’s Pennsylvania Digital Transformation and eCommerce Program (PADTEP), an initiative to promote statewide services to transform businesses’ potential to increase profits and sustain operations online. As small businesses continue to struggle in a post-pandemic world, the meeting provided an open forum to discuss how digital transformation remains a critical component of success.
“The PADTEP program speaks to the heart of small business owners’ eCommerce and digital marketing needs. Our team at Temple University takes great pride in providing these services at no cost to small business owners and we appreciate the opportunity today to show the Administrator the PADTEP impact on local businesses. At the heart of PADTEP is our Digital Connect Program. Digital Connect, through our student team, works one-on-one with small business owners to create, upgrade and enable websites to become eCommerce ready. The results are impressive, taking a small business idea to an online platform,” said Janice Sahady Crile, PADTEP Program Manager.
Small business participants shared individual stories of their ability to navigate, evaluate, and communicate information online with eCommerce platforms or in a digital format thanks to PADTEP resources. PADTEP client Esther Salata, owner of Benesafe Solutions, says this about the program, “The assistance I received from Temple student Aliasger with website SEO and the staff at Temple University Small Business Development Center has been incredibly helpful as I started my new small business. I am forever grateful for the support they gave me; it took Benesafe Solutions to a whole new level of professionalism. The free services offered through this organization are something every small business needs when they first start.”
Through the U.S. Small Business Administration CARES Act funding, Temple University SBDC was able to launch a successful eCommerce and Digital Marketing Pennsylvania SBDC Center of Excellence to assist small businesses with migration to eCommerce sites, and expansion of eCommerce capabilities during the pandemic. Rebranded as PADTEP in September of 2021 with additional funding from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), this program has provided 276 webinars in the last two years to over 8,500 attendees. Additionally, PADTEP has assisted more than 340 clients with 1,890 hours of direct consulting.
PADTEP assists small businesses with website audits, website design, digital marketing, cybersecurity and digital literacy. The goal is to increase the digital capabilities of small businesses, especially in economically disadvantaged areas, to advance economic resiliency, create new job opportunities and attract private investments across the state.
PADTEP is here to serve Pennsylvania SBDC clients in all 67 counties within the Commonwealth. To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit with less than 500 employees and located within PA. To apply for PADTEP services visit: https://bit.ly/applyPADTEP.
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