WASHINGTON, April 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has named Lancaster-Lebanon its 2018 Chapter of the Year as part of the U.S. Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week. SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon was chosen to receive this honor out of SCORE's 300 chapters nationwide, based on its accomplishments in serving entrepreneurs and small business owners in Pennsylvania's Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon has provided expert business mentoring and educational services to the community for 53 years, helping thousands of entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses. In 2017 alone, 1,320 current and prospective small business owners attended 93 different business workshops hosted by the chapter on a variety of topics including, "Simple Steps for Starting Your Business," "Financial Planning for Small Businesses," and "Business Continuity and Emergency Planning," among others.

Each year, the chapter celebrates the achievements of local entrepreneurs by hosting the Small Business Awards Luncheon, which brings together 300 community leaders from organizations such as the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the Lancaster Downtown Investment District.

The 62 mentors who volunteer their time with SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon are experienced business professionals and entrepreneurs who enjoy sharing their firsthand knowledge of business best practices with aspiring entrepreneurs and those looking to grow their businesses. In 2017, Lancaster-Lebanon mentors conducted 2,452 mentoring sessions at no cost to the nearly 800 clients who relied on the chapter's services. 

"At SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon, we are committed to our mission of fostering vibrant small businesses in our communities through mentoring and education," said Chapter Chair Bobb Bewley. "Our clients, our mentors and the Lancaster and Lebanon County communities matter greatly to us, and we are grateful that SCORE matters to these groups as well. Our mentors are passionate about giving back and sharing their knowledge and experience, and SCORE provides them with a unique platform to do just that."

Survey data from SCORE headquarters estimates that in 2017, entrepreneurs started 243 new businesses with SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon's assistance, in turn creating 372 non-owner jobs in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

"There are few chapters that have shown the consistent high-level performance that SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon has achieved," said Steve Records, vice president of field operations at SCORE headquarters. "After having previously won the 2013 Chapter of the Year award, Lancaster expanded its geographical footprint, implemented new quality processes and standards, and focused even more on client impact and success. The chapter is client-focused, volunteer-driven and community-engaged."

SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon will officially receive their Chapter of the Year award at the National Small Business Week kickoff event in Washington, D.C., on April 29.