(From the July-Sept issue of SATOP)

More than 200 entrepreneurs each year receive management assistance from the Angelina College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located in Lufkin, Texas. 

The Angelina College SBDC also provides training and consulting services to existing business owners and those seeking to start or purchase a small business. The center helps prepare business plans and loan proposals to finance business start-up, expansions or recapitalization.

During the last three years, the Angelina College SBDC has helped business owners raise more than $20 million in capital to fund their business projects.

"The goal is to help local business owners succeed," said Angelina College SBDC Director Brian McClain. "Small businesses create more jobs than any other segment of industry on our economy."

The SBDC's role is to create and keep small businesses in our area profitable and growing. This creates economic impact for the community Angelina College SBDC services.

Since success depends upon increased knowledge, the Angelina College SBDC sponsors 60 classes a year, focusing on technology and business related topics. The center also works with companies to tailor classes to fit specific needs.

U.S. Congressman Jim Turner was instrumental in bringing the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program to Angelina College's SBDC. SATOP complimented the strong SBDC bank of services offered to small businesses. Since that time, many inventors and entrepreneurs have utilized this valuable service and marketed their products with the assistance of NASA Johnson Space Center. 

"The Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program at the Angelina College Small Business Development Center has provided an invaluable service to small business owners and inventors," said Congressman Turner. "By offering troubleshooting and technical training services, SATOP scientists help entrepreneurs overcome technical problems that may hinder completion of their inventions. This creative approach to sharing knowledge and resources is good for small business owners and inventors and good for our local East Texas economy."

Angelina College SBDC is part of the University of Houston Network that includes a 32 county area in South East Texas. Thirteen Centers are conveniently located at colleges and universities throughout the area.

The Small Business Development Centers are directed by past business owners and operators. Brian McClain directs the Angelina College SBDC. Mr. McClain graduated from Michigan State University and worked in the corporate world for 10 years. During that time, he rose to Vice President of Operation of an international restaurant company, which operated 1,500 stores.

He left corporate life and opened his first restaurant in 1978 in Longview, Texas. He built 16 more restaurants and established a real estate development company that formed general partnerships that owned restaurant buildings.

Mr. McClain began merging his company with other franchisees, increasing the number of restaurants to 70. He sold his interest in 1992 and moved to Lufkin, Texas, keeping one restaurant and the real estate company. Mr. McClain sold the last restaurant in 1995. He read an ad in the newspaper for a Director for the Angelina College SBDC, and thought he could do that job. Mr. McClain has enjoyed seven great year with Angelina College.

"Brian McClain and Angelina college SBDC have been the benchmark to which we hope all our Economic Development Organizations aspire," said SATOP with passion and vigor. Each year they lead the state in requests for assistance. We look forward to working with Brian and Angelina College for years to come."