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Widener Partners with Pennsylvania DEP to Offer Environmental Services for Small Businesses

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Widener University's Small Business Development Center will provide environmental services to clients under the new Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) partnership.

Chester, Pa. – Widener University's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that will offer environmental services for small businesses statewide under a program called the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP).

To celebrate the new partnership, Widener SBDC will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local, state and university officials on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 11:30 a.m. in the Leslie C. Quick Center, 1304 Walnut St., Chester, PA.

"EMAP is excited to be part of Widener University's Small Business Development Center," said Jeremy Hancher, the EMAP program manager for Widener's SBDC. "We look forward to working with the School of Business Administration and the student body to provide the support and guidance small businesses need to be good environmental stewards and successful companies that contribute to the Pennsylvania economy."

Specifically, EMAP offers small businesses free, confidential assistance on environmental issues, such as improving compliance with local and federal environmental rules, increasing energy efficiency, using pollution prevention to save money, developing and commercializing new energy and environmental technologies, and complying with regulations for worker health and safety.

Widener School of Business Administration Dean Jayati Ghosh said she is excited about the opportunities the new partnership provides for faculty and students. "Widener students will benefit from internships with EMAP, as well as research projects. Students will be able to work with local businesses to solve real environmental problems, while gaining experiences that give them an advantage in their future careers," Ghosh said.

Widener's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has since 2007 been providing consulting services and educational programs to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in southeastern Pennsylvania. The inclusion of EMAP will now expand the Widener SBDC's service footprint and provide small businesses with valuable one-on-one consulting by environmental specialists.

"Customers increasingly care about the citizenship of a brand and whether it is doing the right thing socially, economically and environmentally," said Widener SBDC Director Lenin Agudo. "Our partnership with DEP and the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Network of 18 universities will strengthen entrepreneurs across the state."

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection provides funding to support EMAP in a longstanding partnership to provide environmental technical and compliance assistance to Pennsylvania small businesses, as required by the state Air Pollution Control Act and the federal Clean Air Act. EMAP also assists DEP in identifying small businesses that may be impacted by proposed regulations, and provides outreach to the business community on proposed or newly-effective regulations.

In 2017, EMAP provided environmental consulting assistance to 298 small businesses in Pennsylvania and staff conducted 37 on-site assessment visits at 30 of these businesses. A significant number of the businesses had complex and long unresolved issues that EMAP consultants were able to sort through to help the businesses thoroughly address their compliance issues.

While Widener is hosting EMAP on its main campus, the University of Pittsburgh and Shippensburg University will also house EMAP consultants at their respective SBDCs to ensure EMAP services are available statewide. Widener will serve the southeastern portion of the state.

Small businesses with environmental needs and concerns can call the toll-free EMAP hotline at 1-877-ASK-EMAP or visit www.askemap.org for more information or to request service.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener comprises seven schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. Visit the university website, http://www.widener.edu/