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Business Growth Center

For details about graduation rates, program costs and other important information, view the gainful employment disclosure.

The Business Growth Center located at the Bill J. Priest Campus of El Centro College opened in 1990. Small companies operate in the Center, leasing office space and receiving business services for up to four years.

The Business Growth Center is an environment that supports young companies during their first four years of business, which is the most vulnerable period of development. It is a place where you can learn how to do business while you conduct business. Our mission is to provide professional business services, management assistance and training to enhance the success of the businesses located here. We do not offer money, grants or loans, but we do offer many services.


  • free use of parking garage
  • free use of conference rooms for conferences
  • office cleaning several times per week
  • free business consultants
  • free use of business library
  • free 24-7 security
  • pay only for use facsimile machine ($1 page sending, $.25 page receiving)
  • pay only for use postage meter ($15 annual fee, plus whatever USPS postage used)
  • pay only for use of black/white copier ($0.08 each - Tenant furnishes own copy paper)
  • pay only for use of color copier ($0.25 each - Tenant furnishes own copy paper)

Offices and Rates

The following general range of rates for office space is designed to provide maximum flexibility and diverse options. Space cost is based on actual square footage leased, and each room is a different size, so each room will be a different price. A one-month security deposit is required for space leased under an annual contract. Rent is pre-paid, but optional services charges are itemized on the monthly rental bill, according to usage during that month. These optional services charges are subject to change at any time.



Most single room offices
  • Range from approx. $90 to approx. $150 per month
Most two room offices
  • Range from approx. $255 to approx. $350 per month
Most three room offices
  • Range from approx. $420 to approx. $520 per month
Most four or more room offices
  • Range from approx. $500 to approx. $970 per month

Admission Requirements

Your company must be a small business; you must submit a comprehensive business plan for the Dallas Small Business Development Center managers approval and the BGC managers approval, complete a formal admission application and attach a $25 non-refundable application fee.

The business plan, application and fee must be submitted all at the same time.

Business Counseling and Training


Counseling is provided to each client with the appropriate level of assistance to meet his or her business needs.

Many professionals and agencies work with the North Texas Small Business Development Centers to provide specialized counseling for our clients.

Each center has a director, staff members, volunteers and part-time personnel. Qualified individuals recruited from professional and trade associations, the legal and banking community, academia, chambers of commerce and the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) are among those who donate their services.

Knowledgeable counselors are assigned to address a wide range of business concerns:
  • Management Issues
  • Marketing
  • Business Problem Solving
  • Loan Requirements
  • Business Expansion
  • Buying or Selling a Business
  • Business Start-up
  • International Trade
  • Government Contracting
  • Intellectual Property Protection
  • Environmental Regulation Compliance
  • Technological and Manufacturing Assistance
  • Many others
Clients should schedule appointments with a counselor at the appropriate center.


A variety of low-cost and no-cost seminars is available year round for training on various aspects of business management.

Specialty SBDCs and your local SBDC offer a core program consisting of seminars and workshops designed to meet your needs.

The programs offered by the SBDCs include start-up, loan, business planning, taxes, marketing and financial statement workshops.

The specialty centers provide seminars on such topics as writing a government bid proposal, acquiring a patent or trademark, designing a Web page or exporting your products and services. Please see the North Texas SBDC Training Calendar and online training options for details.

Our facilitators are experts in their fields, including bank loan officers, Certified Public Accountants, Internal Revenue Service representatives, environmental compliance experts, international trade experts, attorneys, and other professionals.

Program Spotlight

WELDING NEWS The Bill J. Priest (BJP) Workforce Training Department is very proud to announce that they have earned the prestigious designation of an Accredited Testing Facility (ATF) through the American Welding Society (AWS). This will allow BJP the ability to offer Welding certifications to students as well as meet the certification needs of business and industries that are served by the Institution.

Until now, San Antonio and McAllen have been the only other areas to offer this service, leaving North Texas industry traveling long distances to gain certifications.

Byron Zarrabi, the director of Welding, states, “This is an important and exciting accomplishment for the Welding program, Bill J. Priest, the Dallas County Community College District, and local industries. Bill J. Priest is also proud to announce that they have a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), Pooya Koohbanani, on staff with plans for having all instructors obtain CWI certification.”

Learn more:
Fundamentals of Welding
Fabrication Welding