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SUNY appoints new state director of the Small Business Development Centers

By Eric Reinhardt (


Sonya Smith
SUNY has appointed Sonya Smith as the new director of the New York Small Business Development Centers. Smith most recently served as associate state director of programs and policy for the Pennsylvania SBDCs. She is also the first woman and African American to hold the position, SUNY said. (Photo credit: SUNY)

ALBANY, N.Y. — SUNY on Monday announced a new state director of the New York Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).

Sonya Smith previously served as the Pennsylvania SBDCs’ associate state director of programs and policy. Smith is the first woman and first African American appointed to lead New York’s SBDC network, SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah Stanley said in a release, announcing the appointment.

Smith succeeds Brian Goldstein, who retired in January 2021, a SUNY spokesperson tells CNYBJ. Tammy Morrow, associate director of the New York SBDCs, has been serving as interim director since then, the spokesperson added.

New York’s network of 22 regional SBDCs offer consulting services for small-business owners and entrepreneurs and represent an “integral part of the state’s entrepreneurship and economic agenda,” SUNY contends. SBDCs played a “critical role” in the state’s pandemic response, helping nearly 5,500 COVID-19 impacted businesses secure more than $600 million in federal funding to date, and assisting thousands more in navigating ways to operate remotely. This work helped preserve more than 28,000 jobs and created 2,500 new ones over the past year alone, per the SUNY release.

“Entrepreneurs and small-business owners are the backbone of our economic well-being,” Smith said. “COVID-19 fundamentally changed the needs of these individuals, and altered how SBDCs support, communicate, and deliver services and programs they need to succeed. New York’s SBDC is a nation-leading program, and its partnership with the SUNY system provides huge potential for entrepreneurs across the state. I thank Interim Chancellor Stanley for welcoming me so warmly, and I look forward to working with SUNY and our state and federal partners to continue growing New York SBDCs reach to support these entrepreneurs and small business owners.”


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