The Santa Monica College (SMC)Small Business Development Center has received an excellence and innovation award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The small business center was recognized for improving performance, increasing efficiency, and for being the only green business advisor in the Los Angeles area SBDC network, according to the administration. The SMC center has the highest return on investment within its network, administration officials said.

“The SBDC network has been an important resource for thousands of businesses that have struggled to remain operational during the recession of the last few years,” said Michelle King, director of the SMC small business center. “Santaa Monica College’s support as host is vital to the L.A. Regional SBDC Network’s ability to assist small businesses. It is a documented fact that supporting businesses and helping them to remain viable benefits the entire community.”

Opened in January 2006 at the Santa Monica Airport, the SMC center provides free, one-on-one, confidential business counseling services to people who have a business idea and to entrepreneurs who want to grow their business or make them more environmentally friendly.

Specifically, the SMC center was awarded the Small Business Development Center Service Excellence and Innovation Award at the 30th Annual Small Business Los Angeles District Awards event co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce earlier this month.