June 26, 2007
HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, and Fulton Bank are forming a partnership to offer services to small businesses in the region.

The Fulton Bank Small Business Center at HACC will help new businesses get started and will support existing small businesses as they grow to the next level, according to Edna Baehre, president of HACC.

"We're very pleased that Fulton Bank is joining us in the effort to grow small businesses in the region," Baehre said. "HACC already offers a number of consulting services to small businesses and this partnership will help us expand that effort and continue to meet the growing demand.

"We have already worked with more than a thousand small businesses since we started our outreach program to entrepreneurs in 2004," she said. "But Fulton's support will help us expand this effort throughout the region, and we will partner with them to offer expertise and banking advice to businesses."

The Fulton Bank Small Business Center at HACC will be headquartered in the college's Penn Center location, but will provide services at other locations throughout south central PA. The center will concentrate on assisting area firms in creating business and marketing plans and will help with financial consulting.

"Fulton Bank has a longstanding commitment to serving small businesses," said Craig A. Roda, president and CEO of Fulton Bank. "In fact, small businesses provide more than half of all the jobs in the country.

"While most small business owners are experts in their own fields, many need sound financial advice to help them achieve success. This Center will bring business owners together with experienced bankers and counselors to provide these entrepreneurs with one-on-one counseling, research and networking activities along with information about proven business practices."

The Fulton Bank Small Business Center at HACC will provide personalized counseling for businesses up to three years of age and will focus on connecting those businesses with resources they need to grow and prosper.

The Center already has certification by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Technical Assistance Provider and has working agreements with SCORE – the Service Core of Retired Executives – and with SEDA-COG to help give small businesses additional resources.

"Fulton Bank's contribution will help to expand and enhance the series of workshops already offered by the center," said Roda, "Our staff will add to the services available for consultations the first Monday of every month. We believe that our commercial lenders and relationship managers can help entrepreneurs anticipate and prepare for the financial future of their business."

Founded in 1882, Fulton Bank has been a vital part of the growth and development of south central Pennsylvania. As one of the leading financial institutions in the region, Fulton is a full-service commercial bank operating over 80 offices and more than 90 ATMs. As the largest affiliate of Fulton Financial Corporation, the bank offers a broad array of financial services while striving to maintain personalized community-oriented banking relationships.

HACC serves more than 18 thousand degree-seeking students in a ten county region in Central Pennsylvania. In addition, the college serves more than 35 thousand students in its workforce development and community education programs.

The college operates campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Gettysburg and York as well as a rapidly growing virtual campus for online courses and a number of off-campus community sites. As Central Pennsylvania's Community College, HACC provides degree and diploma programs in more than 154 fields.

Business owners interested in the Fulton Bank Small Business Center at HACC can reach a counselor at 221-1311.

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