SBDC cuts ribbon to mark opening of extension office
The Cochise College Small Business Development Center celebrated its new extension office at the Douglas Campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon, Aug. 27, among several notable guests.Mexican consul Oscar Antonio de la Torre sliced the green ribbon in front of the administration building, wherein lies the office of Cecilia Rivas Schurmann, the SBDC's international trade specialist. Janice Washington, Director of Arizona's Small Business Development Center Network, made the drive from Tempe to mark the occasion."This is a connect-the-dots moment," she said. "One of many more to come."Though it serves all of Cochise County, Cochise College's Small Business Development Center has been based at the Sierra Vista Campus until its "branch" office in Douglas opened in March. It's the first SBDC office in Arizona to open up a branch office with an international trade focus."The entire network is thrilled to open this office," Washington said. "Mark (Schmitt) and his team caught vision, and we're excited at the possibilities on both sides of the border. We believe this area is ripe for economic development."Schmitt, Director of the Cochise SBDC, said there are ongoing initiatives to bring awareness of international trade to clients not only in Cochise County, but also the entire state of Arizona. As part of those initiatives, the Cochise SBDC has hosted international trade symposiums, open to the public, during the year. Last spring, Robert Mucci, Business Analyst at the SBDC, and Schurmann passed the advanced level certification test in trade knowledge and are now officially Certified Global Business Professionals through the National Association of Small Business International Educators (NASBITE)."I really want to thank the college for making this happen," Washington said. "They really get this, the importance of this kind of outreach."