Closely Held Firms

Dean's Reflections

When I think about the roles small and mid-size businesses have played in Baltimore I see them as the heart and soul of our economic community. Small companies are engines of economic growth and job creation both in our local cities and throughout the country. For these businesses to continue to be sustainable, however, networks must be in place that allow for healthy competition among firms, but also provide resources that help businesses grow together. Small firms need to identify partners to work with in their communities and be willing to join together to ensure their opportunities for prosperity.

Business schools can have a significant role to play in this as well. Loyola’s Center for Closely Held Firms has existed for nearly 25 years to provide members with the opportunities to broaden their professional networks with a built-in community of peers for support and dialogue. I’d like to sincerely thank Harsha Desai, Ph.D., professor of management and international business, for directing the Center’s activities since its inception. I’m also very glad that Mark Debinski, MBA ’95, a person with deep Loyola connections and an excellent reputation in the Baltimore business community, has joined as the next director to continue the Center’s great work. Please read Mark’s thoughts on the vital role small businesses have in our community and his plans for Loyola’s engagement with the region’s closely held business network.

Those of us in the Loyola community continue to look for ways to support the small businesses in our area—particularly those in the Govans area of the York Road Corridor, the focus of one of Loyola’s most significant community engagement initiatives. Through our personal patronage, the resources made available through our business accelerator, and service-learning programs, we are committed to helping our community’s small businesses survive and thrive. 

If you have any thoughts or would like to discuss this topic, please contact me at