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Washington, DC – On Wednesday, March 7th, the White House honored Tom Lauria, Area Manager of the Charleston Area SBDC, as one of eleven local leaders recognized as Champions of Change for outstanding leadership in entrepreneurial mentoring, counseling and training. These exceptional leaders support small business owners by helping them accelerate their path to growth.

“Entrepreneurial mentors help American business owners fulfill their dreams every day,” said U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie Johns. “Mentors volunteer their time to provide the counseling and expertise that small business owners need to succeed and create jobs. In turn, entrepreneurs and small businesses support their local economy and provide goods and services to their neighbors. These mentors are true Champions of Change, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate their success.”

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they do to serve and strengthen their communities.

Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs, and half the people who work in America own or work for a small business. Many of these entrepreneurs would not be where they are today without the help of a mentor to provide them with expert advice. Small business owners make up the fabric of our daily lives – from the shops on main streets to the high-growth innovative companies – and they are creating an economy built to last.

“During this event, I met many people working hard to promote economic growth in their communities,” Laura said. “Nationwide the organizations and programs designed to help small business face similar problems, such as funding. I believe the Champions of Change program highlights the importance of programs such the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers. There is no better way to grow the economy than to help people start businesses that provide jobs and opportunity.”

To watch the March 7 ceremonies click here.

To Access Tom’s blog click here.

BIO: Tom Lauria is the area manager for the North Charleston Area Small Business Development Center in South Carolina. His center serves three counties in the state’s Lowcountry, assisting both startups and existing companies in their pursuit of financial success. Lauria is an active member of his community, serving as a mentor for both graduate and undergraduate business students at The Citadel Military University. Lauria volunteers his time to coordinate the Charleston Small Business Resources Network, which also provides services for entrepreneurs.

Lauria has a long career as a senior executive in the private sector with management responsibilities at Fortune 500 manufacturing facilities worldwide. After retirement, he looked for a way to serve others with his business experience. To this end, Lauria became a part of the SC Small Business Development Centers network, where he enjoys helping entrepreneurs, small businesses and business students.

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