VII. TRAINING

SBDCs are required to provide quality training designed to improve the skills and knowledge of existing and prospective small business owners/managers. Training programs are offered to meet current training needs within the local center’s service area, to support the CSBDC Network marketing efforts and to best meet the needs of clients not ready for, or in addition to, in-depth one-to-one counseling. See Section 4 for guidelines on the SBDC’s LEADING EDGE™ training program. All training events are reported to the Lead Center and the SBA on the Form 888. Training is used for two purposes: (1) transition attendees to long-term clients (2) collect program income to enhance the SBDC program.

A. DESCRIPTION

Training is the provision of advice, guidance and instruction to groups of existing and prospective small businesspersons or entities. Training programs may be provided in person, through seminars, workshops, symposiums or conferences; by such communication modes as teleconferences, videos, publications and electronic media; or by structured self-paced study.
Training programs must either meet direct small business community needs, or provide indirect benefit by improving understanding in the community or among institutions and organizations impacting the small business community. The Lead Center encourages SBDCs to consider the provision of training in specialized areas other than small business management subjects. SBDCs should also emphasize training designed to reach particular audiences such as members of key stakeholders priority and special emphasis groups (i.e., women, minorities, emerging industries, etc.).

B. POLICIES

SBDCs shall ensure that high quality programs designed to improve the skills and knowledge of existing and prospective business owner/managers is provided throughout the network. Where appropriate, centers are encouraged to utilize educational technology such as computer-based instruction and videotapes to enhance the distribution and quality of educational services. Centers must not target their programs towards workforce training but rather focus on business management and entrepreneurship.

All marketing materials (brochures, press releases, etc.) must include the SBA disclaimer provided in the current year’s subcenters Contract or Interagency Agreements. See Appendix B-3 for a sample Non-State Contract Agreement. Please note that while Interagency Agreements are very similar, they are slightly different due to the nature of being a State of Colorado Entity. See Section C for Information regarding information collection and reporting. See Appendix G-1 for a sample 888 Training Report.

1. Fees

SBDCs may charge reasonable fees to cover program costs associated with training, such as meal and refreshment expenses, workbook and related costs. If these event fees are paid directly to the SBDC, they are considered program income and shall be used to expand services and meet eligible SBDC program objectives. Centers must be prepared to provide justification for fees to an auditor.

For all co-sponsored training where there will be a distribution of receipts in whole or in part to the co-sponsor, the training file for the activity must document clearly the role and responsibility of the SBDC and each participant receiving a share of the receipts. How the receipts were distributed must also be documented in the file.

NOTE: SBDCs are reminded that income received by the host institution for all co-sponsored programs cannot be used for match funding and should be used to further support the SBDC.

If there is a program that is fee based, the SBA logo shall not be displayed but the statement of partnership MUST always be included.

2. Attendance and No-shows

Occasionally centers have individuals that pay but do not show up for the event. The policy for no-shows is at the discretion of the local center but should be provided on the flyer prior to the registration.

No-shows should either:
Receive credit for a future training event;
Have their fees refunded; or
Forfeit the fees paid, which is acceptable as long as the client understands the fee for training is non-refundable. A statement to that effect should appear on the marketing materials for the event.
No-shows may not be counted as an attendee on the SBA Form 888, nor should their fees show in the “fee distribution” section. Fees received from no-shows should be noted on the Program Income report.

SBDC employees or interns should not be counted as attendees of the training event. Key personnel attending the training event should be counted under Staff Participation.

3. Evaluation Forms
Centers must consistently monitor and evaluate the quality of speakers, facilities, agendas and materials for training events. SBDC Directors are responsible for ensuring that these events are of high quality and reflect the professional standards of the Colorado SBDC Network. See Section 10 for policies and information regarding consulting and training evaluations.

4. Milestones

Each center must meet the annually negotiated training milestones as stated in the Interagency Agreement or Contract Agreement. See Appendix B-3 for a sample Non-State Contract Agreement. Please not that while Interagency Agreements are very similar, they are slightly different due to the nature of being a State of Colorado Entity. Milestones include the number of training events and attendees as provided by the Center Director. Centers may also request or be requested to hold workshops on special topics such as SBA banker roundtables and minority or women’s business development issues. Benchmarking Reports of center progress toward impact goals can be accessed via the Center IC Balanced Scorecard. The Lead Center also monitors centers’ Balanced Scorecards. See Appendix A-2 for a Sample Balanced Scorecard.

5. Sponsorships

Centers are encouraged to enter into co-sponsored training arrangements with the private sector and other organizations to extend outreach and productivity. Training activities must meet the following requirements in order for an SBDC to receive credit towards their milestones for a training event.

  • SBDC Sponsor
  • The program must either be directly offered by or be co-sponsored by the SBDC. However, in all cases, final responsibility for the quality of the training rests with the SBDC.
  • Co-Sponsor
  • For co-sponsored events, the SBDC must determine in advance that the event(s) will measure up to the quality standards expected of programs directly offered by the SBDC. The SBDC must play a meaningful and active role in planning, organizing, marketing, or delivering the training program. In the event a co-sponsor is brought on board, a co-sponsorship agreement outlining the nature of the agreement and fee distribution must be signed by both parties and submitted to the Lead Center along with the event 888. See Appendix G-2 for a Co-Sponsorship Agreement.
  • Centers must ensure that co-sponsors with products or services they wish to promote do so only minimally during training. The SBDC must state beforehand that the SBDC is not endorsing any products or services of the co-sponsors and will preferably have information from other providers on hand. If the SBA is listed as a co-sponsor of a training event, advance coordination and concurrence is required.
  • All materials should have the SBA disclaimer listed.
  • Marketing Materials
  • All marketing materials and announcements of an event must specifically and clearly name the SBDC as a co-sponsor. They must have the appropriate SBA/SBDC disclaimers, which give credit to the SBA and the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. The Colorado SBDC logo should be on all marketing material.
  • Jointly Sponsored Events Among Local SBDCs
  • When SBDCs join together to co-sponsor a training event, it is important that delegation of responsibilities is clear from the start. If centers sponsor a one-day event, only one center may file a Form 888. However, if centers sponsor a multi-day event, the centers may divide the number of days between the co-sponsors and file a separate Form 888 for each day.

C. INFORMATION COLLECTION AND REPORTING

To comply with SBA grant regulations, SBDC’s must properly and accurately track Training Courses and Program Income. This consists of tracking and reporting on class topics, locations, attendance, revenue, etc. In order to better account for the revenue collected from trainings, the Colorado SBDC Policies and Procedures require that Center IC reports are reconciled with the general ledger to confirm income.

888 Reports are due to the Lead Center 15 days following the end of the quarter

Approximate due dates:

  • April 15th
  • July 15th
  • October 15th
  • January 15th

Submit CIC 888 Quarterly Reimbursement Report and ticked general ledger with your Quarterly Core Reimbursement Request
888 reports consist of:
1. Center IC (CIC) 888 Reimbursement Report
2. Prior Quarter’s General Ledger

1. Center IC (CIC) 888 Reimbursement Report

  • Found in CIC under:
  • Reporting Beta
  • Organization (top left)
  • 888 training report
  • Check and verify that all events on the report:
  • Have accurate attendance, locations, times, and programs
  • All Events are verified
  • Some events should be left unverified if they were cancelled, had no attendance, etc.
  • Events that are not verified are not uploaded to SBA and NOT included in quarterly narratives, progress reports, scorecards, etc.
  • Program Income is accurate
  • Any co-sponsorships or revenue shares are accurate

2. Prior Quarter’s General Ledger

  • Program income ticked on General Ledger
  • Amount of program income should reconcile with the amount of program income reported on CIC 88 report
  • If program income does not reconcile, provide brief explanation of difference
  • Explanation submitted as seperate document with CIC 888 Report
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