Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center Wins the 2024 National Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Center Award from Small Business Administration

AURORA – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has recognized the Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as this year’s winner of the SBDC Excellence and Innovation Center award. The center is being recognized for its pivotal role in driving economic growth in Colorado and fostering the spirit, support and success of the state’s entrepreneurs and innovators.

“Colorado’s successful small businesses are the backbone of our economy and our communities, and I’m glad to see the hard work of the Aurora-South Metro SBDC being recognized. The SBDC Network saves businesses money while helping them grow. This award shows the great work happening in Colorado and lets entrepreneurs know that they have the support they need to grow and thrive,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

The Colorado SBDC Network supports the state’s entrepreneurs and small businesses as they launch, grow, and exit their businesses. In 2023, the Aurora-South Metro SBDC and 13 other centers across the state worked together to serve more than 8,000 clients and train more than 18,500 people. Their work helped small businesses create and retain 3,122 jobs (an increase from 2,705 in 2022), start 335 businesses (an increase from 235 in 2022) and increased sales by over $78 million and capital formation of over $97 million.

The Aurora-South Metro SBDC is hosted by the City of Aurora and covers Arapahoe and Douglas counties. The center is known for piloting new programming for the Colorado SBDC Network and serving a diverse community of entrepreneurs with specialized programming.  The SBDC team consists of seven full-time employees and several independent contractors.

“The Aurora-South Metro SBDC is a fantastic example of the kind of impact our network of SBDCs makes for small businesses across the state. I congratulate them on this prestigious honor, and our network looks forward to continuing to provide excellent support and services to Colorado's entrepreneurs,” said Colorado SBDC Network State Director, Hannah W. Krieger.

“The small business journey is not always easy, but it is an important one. Entrepreneurs meet the needs of their communities and create jobs for Coloradans,” said Executive Director of the Aurora-South Metro SBDC, Marcia McGilley. “I’m so proud of our dedicated team who works hard to assist small businesses in Aurora, and Arapahoe and Douglas counties, achieve their goals. It's an honor to have our center recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration.”

The SBA Colorado Small Business Awards Ceremony will take place at PHI Hub at Saltbox in Denver on May 2 at 11:30 a.m. to recognize Regional and National Awardees. The 2024 slate of awardees are as follows:

National Winners - 

  • Colorado, Region 8 and National Winner – Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Excellence and Innovation award winner: Aurora South Metro Colorado SBDC, Aurora, CO
  • National winner of Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence – Services: Jacobs, Greenwood Village, CO

Regional Winners -

  • Amy McDowell Service to Small Business Award: To Be Announced
  • District Director Diamond Award: Front Range Community College - Larimer SBDC and Poudre River Public Library District,  represented by Hope Hartman, Larimer SBDC Director & Molly Thompson, Harmony Library Manager, Fort Collins, CO
  • 7aLarge Lender: The Huntington National Bank
  • 7a Small Lender: Midwest Regional Bank
  • 504 Large Lender: B:Side Capital, statewide (Denver HQ)
  • 504 Small Lender: Preferred Lending Partners, statewide (Denver HQ)
  • CO Rural Lender of the Year: First Southwest Bank, serving Southwest, CO
  • CO Community Lender of the Year: Colorado Enterprise Fund (Denver HQ)
  • Colorado Wall of Fame Inductee for 2024: To Be Announced

For more details on the awards, visit For more information on the Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center, visit

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