America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) were established in 1977 and can be found in every state in the U.S. Twelve SBDC regional offices are located throughout New Jersey. The SBDC at William Paterson University began serving area small business owners in April 1997.

A partnership program with the U.S Small Business Administration

A variety of educational and business resources are available to counsel and train small business owners to finance, market and manage their companies. William Paterson University students and staff are encouraged to take advantage of SBDC services, including the periodic workshops offered at no cost to the university community. The NJSBDC network also provides opportunities for students to participate in research and get first-hand business experience under the supervision of faculty and business professionals.

Give Your Small Business an Edge

America's Small Business Development Center at William Paterson UniversityStarting and maintaining a successful small business requires a tremendous amount of planning and work. Maximizing your
chances of success involves careful preparation and knowledge of current trends in small business development. Whether you’re just starting out or run an existing small business, William Paterson University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can provide expert advice and professional development services to help you launch or expand your business.

Housed within the University’s Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson’s SBDC is a private organization of professional management consultants partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the New Jersey Economic Growth and Tourism Commission, and community-based organizations such as the Paterson Urban Enterprise Zone.

Our goal is to assist entrepreneurs and business owners in establishing and growing sustainable, successful small businesses—saving you time, money, and effort in finding the best solutions for your business needs.

Our Staff

Director’s Message 

As active participants in communities throughout northern New Jersey and through direct involvement in cutting-edge business research, the William Paterson Small Business Development Center (SBDC) understands the rapidly changing nature of today’s global economy.

As part of a national and statewide SBDC system, the William Paterson SBDC has access to a tremendous nation-wide resource base of expertise, enabling us to acquire expert information and quickly implement best practices to bolster New Jersey’s small businesses. In addition to William Paterson University, we are proud and thankful to be funded by the City Of Paterson’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), the Small Business Administration, the State of NJ, and in-kind donations and grants from various other local business and organizations. This helps us advance the SBDC’s goal of continually developing and refining the tools and resources requisite to contemporary small business success in today’s competitive and increasingly diverse and technologically driven environment.

We are also active partners with Passaic County Department of Economic Development, as well as WPU’s Continuing and Professional Education. To ensure that Passaic County entrepreneurs begin to transform New Jersey into a leader among states, the William Paterson Small Business Development Center continues to employ an outstanding team of consultants, and leverage our access to the expertise of faculty in William Paterson University’s innovative Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business.

Our strategic plan calls for initiatives with continuous internal improvement to enable us to better provide services to our region, expansion initiatives that will enable us to provide additional consultation services to a greater range of municipalities within our region, and several innovative business start-up /training initiatives, that when implemented, will serve as a catalyst for our region’s revival.

Please continue to review our website for our schedule of classes for business and technology courses offered in English and Spanish throughout Passaic County.


Melissa Rosario
Regional Director

Melissa Rosario is a seasoned professional with a rich and diverse
background. Most recently, she played a pivotal role in supporting and
guiding a portfolio of approximately 190 businesses as a Senior
Business Consultant with New Jersey Small Business Development
Center at New Jersey City University. Melissa excels in various core
functions, including Investor Relations and Finance. She is well known
in Hudson County for managing several key affinity groups, such as
WOC (Women of Commerce), HOLA (Hispanic Organizations Leaders of America), the
Ambassador and YPLHC (Young Professionals Leaders of Hudson County), which she
founded during her 9 years tenure at Hudson County Chamber Commerce.

As a strategic thinker and results-oriented individual, Melissa has demonstrated her
expertise in fast-paced environments, offering consultation to businesses in areas such as
entrepreneurship, finance and event planning, sales, raising capital, building relationships
and marketing. She has engaged with over 1,000 businesses through her professional
career in Hudson County and successfully launched an eight-month Mentoring Program
exclusively for women, which includes peer-to-peer mentoring and educational workshops.
Before joining the SBDC at NJCU, Melissa contributed significantly as a Sr. Director of
Membership and Finance, to the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce ensuring
organization meets its annual fundraising goals and that business members of the
organization stayed informed and received their entitled benefits while growing their
network. She also played a crucial role in producing up-to-date financial reports and
maintaining the Chamber’s policies and procedure documents. Melissa’s journey with the
Chamber began as a Financial Intern, and her unwavering commitment and growth paved
the way for her progression.

In her previous role in the Dominican Republic, Melissa was instrumental in providing
economic and financial metrics for the distribution of electricity at the Dominican
Corporation of Electricity (CDEEE) as an Economist. Her efforts contributed to the
development and implementation of programs aimed at improving the energy distribution
system, thus reducing the fiscal deficit with energy supplier companies and supporting
capital negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

Furthermore, Melissa served as an Analyst during the launch of “Dominican Republic in
Numbers” in 2008, a comprehensive compilation of statistical data from the country.

Melissa holds an MBA in Finance from NJCU School of Business, a certificate in Nonprofit
Organization Management from the U.S Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization
Management (IOM) and a statistic certification from the National Office of Statistics (ONE)
in the Dominican Republic. She earned her undergraduate degree in Economics from the
Technology Institute of Santo Domingo (INTEC) in the Dominican Republic. Melissa’s
impressive professional journey is a testament to her dedication, expertise, and
commitment to making a positive impact in the business world and her community.


Sonia Musa, America's Small Business Development Center New JerseySonia Musa
Project Manager

Sonia Musa has been working as the project manager at The William Paterson University Small Business Development Center since April 2, 1997. Sonia Musa’s roles are as follow:

  • Assisted in creation of Paterson Small Business Development Center for Passaic County.
  • Consult clients on starting their businesses.
  • Participate in graduate research studies involving statistical information
  • Responsible for office and operations management and collection and communication of deliverables and data.
  • Assist in meeting planning by managing all pre-registration, on-site registration, procedures and logistics, including the scheduling of rooms, food and travel.
  • Assist in marketing the small business development center through all channels of social media
  • Responsible for office management, collection, communication of deliverables and data.
  • Reviewed and analyzed data to determine progress toward stated goals and objectives.
  • Provided support services and training programs to clients as well as employees.
  • Processed all vouchers, billheads, requisitions, vendor requisitions, travel and expense reports, cash transmittals, internal requisitions and consultant agreements for SBDC
  • Maintain WPU SBDC website through William Paterson University
  • Create bi-annual WPU SBDC office calendar for the community.
  • Sonia Musa had worked as an adjunct professor at William Paterson University teaching First Year Seminar. Ms. Musa had worked as an Instructor for English as a Second Language classes at Passaic County Community College. Teaching reading and oral communication, writing, grammar for beginners to Advanced ESL students. Ms. Musa had worked for as an adjunct professor of Computer Science teaching at the undergraduate level at Essex County Community College in both campuses Newark and West Caldwell, NJ.

Sonia Musa is a graduate of William Paterson University with a Masters in Education.

Sonia Musa also holds another Masters in Information Systems from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Sonia Musa is a graduate of Leadership of Paterson 1997.


Jim Palumbo, America's Small Business Development Center New JerseyJim Palumbo
Consultant and Instructor

Jim Palumbo is currently a consultant and instructor working for the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at William Paterson University.

A former senior executive of the Consumer Electronic Industry, Jim served as President of the Plasma Display Coalition. Prior, Jim held key senior executive positions with Sony Electronics during a highly successful 31 year career.

In 2001, he was named President/CEO of Aiwa America, a Sony Corp. (NYSE, SNE) subsidiary, where he was responsible for turnaround activities and integrating the brand into Sony after 100% acquisition. For nine years, as President of Sales and Marketing of the Sony Consumer Television Company, Jim led, among other industry leading initiatives, the highly successful introductions of Sony High-Definition Television (HDTV), WEGA flat screen and flat panel televisions, and Sony brand DirecTV receivers. Under Jim’s leadership, Sony achieved a #1 position in the consumer television industry and #1 rank in overall brand value and recognition. He also served as Senior Vice-President of Sales for Sony Consumer Sales Company where he initiated and led several highly successful selling programs, many of which were emulated in the Consumer Electronics and Appliance industries. Jim also held other key sales management positions for Sony Electronics prior to moving to corporate headquarters.

Jim is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (BSE) and has completed executive development education courses at Babson College and the University of Michigan Ross School Of Business.

We’re here to help!

Fill out our Request for Business Counseling to schedule an appointment with one of our business counselors.

Register for one of our small business training courses.

For information about another topic, please contact our office by email,
or call (973) 321-1378. We look forward to speaking with you.