WT’s Small Business Development Center Named Center of the Year

Gina Woodward Aug 31, 2022
  • Featured
  • Community
  • Business

WT’s Small Business Development Center Named Center of the Year

Copy by Gina Woodward, 806-651-5151,

Contact: Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — America’s Small Business Development Center at WTAMU was named Center of the Year by the Northwest Texas SBDC Region earlier this month.

The center was recognized for its efforts in 2021 to focus on assisting small businesses across the Texas Panhandle recover from the pandemic, as well as for working alongside a larger-than-usual number of entrepreneurs starting new businesses as a result of the pandemic.

The center is a department of West Texas A&M University’s Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business, now celebrating its 35th year consulting with entrepreneurs and small business owners in the region who want to start or grow businesses that lead to a more diverse and healthy economy.

“For the last 35 years, the SBDC at the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business has played an important role in growing local small businesses across the Texas Panhandle that keep our region strong,” said Dr. Amjad Abdullat, dean. “The work they did to help businesses recover from the pandemic was invaluable, and we’re proud of their efforts that won them Center of the Year.”

In 2021, the SBDC saw a 25 percent increase in clients who wanted to start a new business.

“We attribute that to people having a post-COVID realization that they want to have multiple sources of revenue to provide stability to their personal and business finances,” said Gina Woodward, SBDC director. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to help these new and existing businesses thrive. I am incredibly proud of their efforts and continued dedication to making sure that Texas Panhandle small businesses are some of the best to be found across the globe.”

In addition to receiving Center of the Year on Aug. 16, Woodward also received one of four Five Million Dollar Club awards given to SBDC staff who helped clients receive funding of at least $5 million during the year.

Economic development and the success of the Texas Panhandle as a region are key principles of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised more than $110 million.



About America’s SBDC at WTAMU

The Small Business Development Center provides professional business consulting, training, and research in all areas of business management and finance.  Operating as a department of the Paul & Virginia Engler College of Business at West Texas A&M University, the SBDC focuses on creating new jobs by providing professional assistance to small business owners across the Texas Panhandle. Most programs and services are provided at no cost through an arrangement with the Small Business Administration and State of Texas.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.



Photo: America's SBDC at WTAMU staff members Michelle Howington, from left, Shane Groff, Gina Woodward and Ana Ramirez celebrate the center's naming as Center of the Year.