BRANCHBURG – The Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College will close at the end of the month.
Kean University, however, announced that the Small Business Development Center on its campus has expanded its service territory and will now provide services to businesses in Somerset County.
The closure of the Raritan Valley Community College office coincides with the retirement of Bill Harnden, who served as the center’s regional director.
“It has been our pleasure having Bill Harnden as the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Raritan Valley Community College regional director for many years,” Kelly Brozyna, CEO and state director of the NJSBDC network, said in a statement. “He is on a new path of retirement, and we wish him the best of luck.”
Brozyna thanked the college for hosting the office.
“We appreciate all the community support that Raritan Valley Community College has shown Hunterdon and Somerset counties in the past,” she said.
Harnden became regional director in 2012 after serving eight years as assistant director and operations director.
Before joining NJSBDC, Harnden worked in the private sector, including operating his own business, which he sold in 1998. He also handled bursar activities, grants accounting and third-party contracts for the college’s finance office.
Rafael Mata, NJSBDC’s new regional director, said the expansion of the Kean center is a regional approach to business consulting and in-person educational offerings and direct business services.
“It is practical that we move to regional structures that better serve our business communities and mirror how local economies interact with each other,” Mata said in a statement. “The center shall align innovation and research to improve our small business consulting and low-cost educational offerings for business owners and entrepreneurs. In addition, we will incorporate students looking to entrepreneurship as an option post-graduation.”
The NJSBDC network has provided comprehensive services and programs for small businesses in New Jersey for 45 years.
The network helps small business owners and entrepreneurs develop business plans, find financing, accounting and financial analysis, identify new markets, initiate marketing strategies, find procurement and international trade opportunities, explore sustainability practices, commercialize technology and develop an e-commerce presence.
The statewide NJSBDC headquarters is located at the Rutgers Business School in Newark.
The Kean center is located in Hynes Hall, home of the university’s College of Business and Public Management in Union Township.
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Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: Raritan Valley Community College Business Development Center closing