Linda Blanton, a business consultant for the Charleston Area Small Business Development Center (SBDC), retired in August to enjoy full-time R&R. Since 2009, Linda served as a government procurement specialist in the SC SBDC at the University of South Carolina through the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) program. In this role, she assisted established small to medium-sized companies that want to sell to federal and state governments.
“Linda was a true super star in the SC SBDC and SC PTAC programs,” said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. “Both her clients and partners respected her and enjoyed working with her.”
Blanton had an impressive career with the SC SBDC, winning numerous awards. In 2016 she received the SC SBDC’s coveted Ambassador Award, a distinction imparted by her peers in recognition of her enthusiasm for representing the SBDC in the business community, contributions to local economic development and her longstanding commitment to serving the needs of small businesses.
When presenting Blanton with the award, Abraham said “In addition to her exemplary performance in terms of developing and nurturing partnerships that further the objectives and accomplishments of the SC PTAC and the SC SBDC, Linda is well-deserving of the Ambassador Award for her community service, ongoing collaboration with legislators, and participation in local organizations. The network is stronger because of her outreach, advocacy on behalf of the SBDC and expertise in assisting clients.”
Highly regarded by clients, co-workers and local politicians alike, Blanton’s colleagues acknowledge that it was not just her business knowledge and experience that made her an excellent resource for entrepreneurs and business owners, but also her genuine care for the clients she serves.
“Linda is extremely personable and has a gift for getting to the essence of what an entrepreneur needs to be successful. As an advisor, her insights and vision were invaluable," said Abraham.
Despite being a part-time employee, Blanton not only found the time to help small business owners pursue government contracts, she also served as a champion of the SBDC and PTAC by regularly attending industry meetings, participating in economic development organizations and belonging to several civic groups such as the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Charleston Defense Contractors Association, and the Charleston Chapter of Women in Defense.
“Linda consistently broke records in helping businesses enter the government contracting arena and win sizeable awards that launched them into the next phase of growth,” Abraham said. “All of us in the network will miss her and remember her with fondness.”