UCDD new host of UC Small Business Development Center

UPPER CUMBERLAND – This week, the Upper Cumberland Development District (UCDD) will

assume management of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) — an organization tasked with assisting local businesses access funds through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Representatives of UCDD and Middle Tennessee State University, the host of the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers network (TSBDC), recently signed a contract naming UCDD the new host of the Upper Cumberland SBDC site. 

The service area for this SBDC location includes Clay, Pickett, Smith, Jackson, Overton, Fentress, DeKalb, Putnam, and White counties. UCDD has been approved to provide service to any community in the region and is in the process of ramping up and is looking forward to working with business owners across the Upper Cumberland.

“I want to thank the Upper Cumberland mayors and executives along with President Philip Oldham of Tennessee Tech for the opportunity to serve our business community as the Small Business Development Center of the Upper Cumberland,” Mark Farley, UCDD executive director, said.

Known for providing small business start-up services, SBDC offers assistance with business plan development, financial planning assistance, marketing plan development, sources of capital and social media guidance among other services.

For more than 30 years, the TSBDC network has been empowering small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals with a business idea to innovate new products and services that compete in the global marketplace. TSBDC has 20 various locations and has assisted more than 100,000 businesses.

Tyler Asher has been named director of the SBDC. He brings more than 10 years of client

engagement/retention and business development experience to his new role. Most recently, Asher worked as a Farmers Insurance Agency owner where he grew the agency 27% each year.

“As a lifelong resident of the Upper Cumberland, this was an easy choice to take over this program and help the small businesses grow,” Asher said. “I can’t thank Mr. Farley enough for this opportunity along with the amazing support of the folks here at the UCDD. I am so blessed with this opportunity. I believe my background as a business owner will directly help those looking to start their own business.”

UCDD has proudly served the region’s businesses for decades and is looking forward to combining the services of the SBDC to create a comprehensive resource for businesses of all sizes and stages. UCDD operates a direct loan fund as well as a micro-loan fund geared toward helping local businesses start or grow. UCDD also specializes in gap financing and partners with traditional lenders to help support job creation and regional economic prosperity in the Upper Cumberland.

“As the nation comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic there will be many opportunities for growth and we will continue to provide valuable resources to business and industry,” added Megan Choate, director of lending and economic development at UCDD.

SBDC has been tasked with rolling out the SBA Payroll Protection Program and related COVID-19 recovery loans. UCDD encourages any small business owner in the Upper Cumberland in need of assistance to contact Tyler Asher, director of Small Business Development Center by phone (931) 261-0421 or by email at tasher@tsbdc.org. Additional details about the Small Business Development Center will be released soon, including location and hours of operation.

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