SharpTurn Consluting, Carol Sumter, FSBDC at UCF, Government Contracting, Small Business Assistance

SharpTurn Consulting Delivering Solutions that Work

Florida SBDC at UCF Credited for Making a Difference

November 14, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – ‘Good’ consultants have one quality that distinguishes them from their competitors: they help their clients improve performance and get better results. Not only do they identify and then define the problems their clients are wrestling with, but they then propose solutions and map out the ways to accomplish them.

Carol Sumter is just such a ‘good’ consultant. She started and has built her business, Sharp Turn Consulting, into a success by focusing process improvement, change management and training best practices on its clients’ challenges and then partnering with them to achieve the desired outcomes.

“My plan is to grow slowly,” says Sumter. “I’ve told my clients: I have a model. I have proprietary analytics, processes and procedures that I have standardized and that work. I tweak them to meet the needs of my clients. And then they get results.”

Like most entrepreneurs, Carol Sumter didn’t build her business alone. She’s had partners and found resources to help her. One of the most important resources she found is the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).

“I never thought I’d have my own business,” Sumter reveals. “I never had the desire. I’m a big organization, guaranteed paycheck type of individual. But then I saw an opportunity to use what I know to help people. I went online. I found the Small Business Development Center, first in Texas and then here in Orlando when I moved to Florida. I took their seminars. I used their consulting. I wrote a business plan. It all helped me to get Sharp Turn Consulting off the ground.”

“The game changer was working with Patricia Simpson, my government contracting specialist at the FSBDC at UCF Government Contracting Services through its Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC),” continued Sumter. “I had all of this information but no one to focus me on how to best use it. My business is about helping clients collect information and use it. But what I’d received from the FSBDC was so vast it was overwhelming.”

“Patricia helped me identify what was important for my business. She guided me towards using the right information, better prioritizing my time and attending the most promising events. It made all the difference. It led me into valuable business partnerships, into pursing new markets and winning new clients.”

“And all at no cost,” Sumter went on.  “When you are a small business, you are stingy with your dollars. It’s great to have access to all this expertise and knowledge, and be able to talk to people who’ve already done it, who’ve proven they know what it’s all about, who’ve been successful.”

“‘Valuable’ is the way I’d describe the FSBDC, in every sense of the word. They have given me the ability to take the steps I have and make my business into what it is today. It’s been great working with them and I look forward to continuing to benefit from their support”.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America’s SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the she SBA or other funding partners.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs served almost 75,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $1.4 billion in capital accessed; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; and 4,159 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Di-Versified, FSBDC, Betty Berkland, Bridge Loan

Di-Versified, LLC

Located in Apopka, FL Di-Versified, LLC provides exterior and underground installation of fiber-optic cable for communications companies such as ATT and GOA.

In September 2017, Di-Versified, LLC sustained economic damage due to Hurricane Irma. Betty Berkland, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about her experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, she recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

With the work shut downs at our projects the week before the hurricane, during the hurricane and the week after the hurricane, and even the week after that as our customers were assessing the damage, we had no revenues. And we had wind damage to the roof and side panels of our warehouse.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

Di Versified, LLC

Owner of Di-Versified, LLC Betty Berkland (L) with FSBDC Consultant Jill McLaughlin

We didn’t want our employees to be out of work. It makes it hard for them. We have a great team that works together well, that knows the business and are good at it so we kept them busy and we kept them on payroll.

To make payroll, we had to withhold payment to our vendors. Now we can get current with them.  The thing is, our customers did the same thing to us. Now everyone is getting caught up.

So with this loan we can pay our employees; pay our vendors; and start working again.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

Working with the FSBDC was great. They had everything outlined. They had simple explanations for everything. The paperwork we had to get together was minimal. It went really well and really fast.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Carmona Law, FSBDC, Omar Carmona

Carmona Law

Located in Winter Park, FL, Carmona Law is a full-service law firm with a second office in Kissimmee, and with affiliate offices in Tampa, Columbia and Puerto Rico. With six attorneys, the firm specializes in family law, immigration, business law, bankruptcy and issues that have to do with Puerto Rico law.

In September 2017, Carmona Law sustained economic damage due to Hurricane Irma. Omar Carmona, Partner of the law firm, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about the experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Carmona Law

Omar Carmona, Partner of the law firm Carmona Law, with FSBDC at UCF Assistant Director Pauline Davis

Everything is done online in our offices. With the power out, we lost all our security cameras and all internet connections, which prevented us accessing services in the cloud. Our server is in California and with no internet we could not log in. Our employees needed to work from home and were not able to be as productive. And we could not see clients. Our revenues and ability to earn them were adversely effected.

And our building, its elevator and our offices all experienced water damage.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The loan is going to mean that we have adequate working capital to finish the year with no problems. It gives us peace of mind that we will be fully operational and represent our clients effectively.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

It was a huge relief knowing that there was a place like the FSBDC where we could go to for help after the hurricane. The flow between my office and the FSBDC was really smooth and decision making was really quick so we’re really happy with the whole, entire process.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

BMDM

Located in Orlando, FL, BMDM is a direct marketing agency that helps their client companies reach the right individuals, specializing in personalized direct mail as well as online and offline contacts like display and Facebook advertisements. The company also implements data-driven digital marketing campaigns including data analysis/segmentation, customized print and return-on-investment reporting.

In September 2017, BMDM sustained economic damage due to Hurricane Irma. Chuck Barnett, CEO of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about his experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Our largest clients are automotive dealerships throughout the Southeast. Before the storm, none wanted to do marketing. During the storm, they were closed. Then after the hurricane, people were buying vehicles to re

BMDM

CEO of BMDM Chuck Barnett (L) with FSBDC at UCF Consultant Roger Greenwald (R)

place what was lost so my customers didn’t need to do any direct mail then either. The combination essentially shut down our business, it put a hit on our cash flow and we were without revenues for more than a month.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The loan is going help us payback some credit cards we ran up to cover expenses. And replace personal funds used to pay the mortgage, cover the payroll, pay off the loans we have. It will partially repair the damage from the short term loss of revenue.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

The FSBDC and our consultant were exceptional. They informed us of the program, helped us with the paperwork, and kept us informed all through the process. It was two weeks from start-to-finish. The whole experience was as painless as possible and a real relief given our situation.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Jillian Rowe, Higher Learning Development Center, SBDC, Child Care

Higher Learning Development Center: An Entrepreneurial Success Story

Dream is realized with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF

November 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Being an entrepreneur is not an easy road. Starting a business with limited resources and without a formal business education is an uphill climb. So when an individual, against all odds, starts a business from scratch and builds it into a successful, going concern, it is cause for celebration.

Jillian Rowe, founder and owner of Higher Learning Development Center, is deserving of such a celebration.  At full capacity with an enrollment of 66, Higher Learning Development Center provides quality care and education for children ages 6 months to 12 years in Winter Park, FL.

When she began her venture, Rowe had almost nothing except a vision and determination. “When I started out, I had no money. No clients. Not great credit. But I had a dream,” she says. “And I needed a small business loan to purchase a childcare facility. But when I went to the bank, the first requirement was to complete a business plan and do financial projections. Those things were all new to me. My first thought was the FSBDC.”

Higher Learning Development Center: An Entrepreneurial Success Story

Assistant Director Pauline Davis (L) with Owner of Higher Learning Development Center Jillian Rowe (R)

Rowe contacted the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and one of its consultants, Pauline Davis, for its no-cost, unlimited consulting and mentoring. “I met with Ms. Pauline. She explained everything to me. But she wouldn’t do it for me, especially the projections,” Rowe says today. “She said to me: ‘I’m not going to do it for you. I’m going to teach you and that way you will always know how to do it for yourself.’ ”

Davis and Rowe set about to produce a business plan and the financial forecasts. “Those were challenging days,” Rowe says now. “The FSBDC was my only cheerleader and support system when I started out. They were always there. And that assistance has made the difference for me.”

“So far, I have been able to attract wonderful students and families, offer job opportunities in the community, grow my business to capacity and even buy my building,” Rowe says of her success in the past few years. “I didn’t have all of this when I started out. And look at me now.”

“As my business has grown, I never lost contact with Ms. Pauline and the FSBDC,” Rowe continued.  “Anytime I progressed or achieved a goal or had an obstacle, the first person I called was Pauline Davis. She has been awesome. She believed in me. She kept pushing me to go forward. She motivated me to keep going. Thanks to her coaching and mentoring me all the way, I can write a business plan. I can do forecasts. I can negotiate a deal.”

“The FSBDC is a great resource,” Rowe concluded. ”It’s a business education institute. My consultant is always there, always available and able to help me dissect a situation and show me the best way to go. Their guidance is awesome.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America’s SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the she SBA or other funding partners.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs served almost 75,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $1.4 billion in capital accessed; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; and 4,159 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Nutritious Lifestyles, Inc.; Janet Mckee; FSBDC at UCf; Small Business Assistance

Nutritious Lifestyles, Inc. on Accelerating Growth Path

FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council Program Assists With Taking Business to the Next Level

Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida

October 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – The transition from entrepreneur to manager isn’t always easy. Especially when you have a company that, after hitting some early potholes, has hit its stride and is now growing fast.

But that’s the challenge that Janet Mckee was facing. Her company, Nutritious Lifestyles, Inc., provides nutrition and food service consulting services to the healthcare community, including skilled nursing facilities, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, children’s medical services, behavioral facilities, assisted living facilities and more. Its combination of cost-effective solutions, superior customer service and positive patient outcomes has been winning new clients and fueling revenue growth in the past few years.

It wasn’t always that way, though. Early on, Mckee experienced major challenges. “I needed help,” she recalls today. “We were experiencing human resources problems. We had lost a lot of business. I’d gotten the company to a certain level but was uncertain about where to go next. I felt like I needed people who had more experience to help guide me.”

Fortunately, the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) had a program tailor made for established, second-stage companies like Nutritious Lifestyles and for CEO Mckee: the Advisory Board Council (ABC). The Advisory Board Council is a no-cost board of experts providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow.  It acts as a matchmaker between established local businesses like Mckee’s and area professionals who volunteer their expertise as members of an advisory board, with the volunteers selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client.

“As an entrepreneur and the founder of a woman-owned business, I’d learned the hard way that you can’t do everything yourself,” says Mckee. “The FSBDC and the ABC program manager Jill Kaufman put together a board of advisors that was a great fit for my business. They were knowledgeable and experienced. I could bounce ideas off of them. I got honest feedback that I may not have always liked hearing but always helped me. But they guided me in setting growth parameters, establishing an internal infrastructure and forming my management team.  From there, my board has helped me create plans to expand into new markets and facilitate further growth.”

With the assistance of the FSBDC and her Advisory Board Council, Mckee has embraced her role as a manager and taken Nutritious Lifestyles to its next level of success. The company has grown by 25% over the past two years. It is negotiating a contract with a new client worth almost $1 million. It is hiring and training new team members every day.

“When you are experiencing this kind of growth, you need to have people and systems in place to ensure the quality of the product and of your customer service, and that you are meeting or exceeding customer expectations,” says Mckee. “We’re accomplishing those goals today and I feel like the future of my company is very bright.”

“The FSBDC and my Advisory Board have been very helpful getting us to this point,” Mckee concluded. “They have been extremely flexible and a wealth of information and guidance, a huge resource. It’s been a total win-win for Nutritious Lifestyles and me.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America’s SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the she SBA or other funding partners.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs served almost 75,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $1.4 billion in capital accessed; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; and 4,159 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Popcorn Junkie, FSBDC at UCF, Lake County, Economic Development

Popcorn Junkie Comes to Church Street with Gourmet Popcorn for Connoisseurs

FSBDC at UCF Assists Entrepreneurs Realize their Dream

October 18, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – It happens often. An entrepreneur has an idea but is uncertain about how to turn their vision into a real business. And then how to make that business a success.

Minetta and Neal Crosier were just such entrepreneurs. Building upon successful business careers and a passion for popcorn, they had a vision for a gourmet popcorn company like no other, one with extraordinary flavors found nowhere else, made with the highest quality ingredients, and handcrafted and made fresh daily. Their question was: where to start?

The Crosiers turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Lake County, near where they lived. Minetta Crosier is a UCF graduate and had heard about the FSBDC’s  no-cost consulting, business seminars & workshops and market research resources, all focused on the needs of small-to-medium sized businesses. It was just these services that the Crosiers decided to access at the FSBDC.

“When we first started out, we had no idea how to do what we wanted to do or exactly where we wanted to do it. What we did know was what we wanted to do,” says Neal Crosier. “So we went to the FSBDC for help with taking our concept to an actual business.”

With their Lake County consultant Eddie Hill, the Crosiers rolled up their sleeves and started to work. They attended business education seminars about starting a business and using social media to market that business. The relied on Hill’s expertise and experience for business guidance and consultation. And, using the FSBDC’s databases, they accessed extensive market research and industry information.

Further, as the Crosiers progressed toward launching their business, the FSBDC helped them find professional assistance with retail interior design, branding, legal issues, bookkeeping and store build-out construction.

With the FSBDC at their side, the Crosiers were able to make major course corrections in their business plans. They abandoned their original idea of operating from a mall kiosk in favor of a retail store. They adjusted their choice of location from I-Drive in Orlando to the Church Street Station downtown area. And the results have been excellent.

Popcorn JunkieTM, the Crosier’s wonderful new store, opened on Church Street in May 2107 and has been enjoying terrific success. They have been helping customers from all over ‘Get Hooked on Good” with an amazing selection of gourmet popcorn flavors, featuring Classic, Cheese, Sweet, Nutty, Chocolate and Seasonal Varieties. They are close by the downtown sports venues and see extensive foot traffic on game days. And they are building a loyal downtown Orlando following in nearby office buildings and apartments.

“The FSBDC was there when we needed them,” Neal Crosier concluded. “I take my hat off to them. Every time I reached out to them, I received an immediate response or, if they didn’t have the answer, they found it for me fast. They gave us excellent, really excellent service. I didn’t imagine it would be that good. But it was, and helped us a lot.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2016, the FSBDC at UCF served over 2,400 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in nearly 6,700 jobs created, retained or saved; $980 million in sales growth; $92.7 million in capital formation; $154.6 million in government contract awards; and 120 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America’s SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the she SBA or other funding partners.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs served almost 75,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $1.4 billion in capital accessed; $2.6 billion in government contract awards; and 4,159 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

State, Federal Disaster Loan Programs Activated to Aid Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist.

Recommended First Step: Businesses to Complete Disaster Assessment

Media Release

September 13, 2017

Florida businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma may now apply for various state and federal disaster loan programs.  As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, the Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist businesses with disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

State Assistance
Today, Governor Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses damaged by the storm.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

Under the program, eligible small businesses in all 67 Florida counties with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $25,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to September 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.

To Apply for a Bridge Loan
Visit www.floridadisasterloan.org for more information and to apply for the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.

Business Damage Assessment Survey
DEO is assessing the damage caused by the storm. Small businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey. The survey will help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. To take the survey, please visit www.flvbeoc.org.

Federal Assistance
Following President Trump’s major disaster declaration, impacted businesses may now apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Through the declaration, businesses and nonprofits in Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties in Florida are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Levy, and Nassau counties in Florida.

Business Physical Disaster Loan Program
Business Physical Disaster Loans are intended to help repair or replace disaster-damaged property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace property, including real estate, equipment, inventory, machinery, and other business assets.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Businesses in qualifying adjacent counties may apply for up to $2 million for working capital through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations meet financial obligations and operating expenses through the disaster recovery period.

Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant.

Applicants may also be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages to protect property from future damage, including adding a safe room or storm shelter.

To Apply for Physical and Economic Injury Loans
Businesses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by mobile device at m.fema.gov or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist

The Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of the network’s service offering, the Florida SBDC will also be deploying its Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs) into affected communities to deliver small business owners on-site assistance with loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges. The Florida SBDC is working with state and federal officials to determine the MACs’ locations and will release that information soon.

“We are saddened to see and hear the stories of damage and loss that individuals and small businesses have suffered due to Hurricane Irma,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director. “We want our small business owners to know how important they are to our state and that we stand ready to assist them get back on their feet to continue creating jobs and generating wealth for Florida’s economy.”

For questions about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the U.S. SBA Physical and Economic Injury Loan Programs, and how the Florida SBDC can help, please contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489 or Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.  The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 401,475 hours of consulting to 45,502 client businesses, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained and saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; $947.4 million in capital investments; and 3,857 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

 

 

Matthew Rose, Intersection Technology Solutions, Seminole County, Seminole State College, FSBDC

Intersection Technology Solutions Preventing ‘Tech Rage’ for Clients

Florida SBDC at Seminole State College Helps IT Services Firm Start, Grow and Succeed

August 31, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Almost daily you hear stories about a company’s computer system being taken over by ransomware, computer viruses, or other IT issues. Businesses hope they never have to deal with these devastating situations, but without preventative measures and continual monitoring, it’s bound to happen. Intersection Technology Solutions (ITS), a Seminole County information technology support firm, is helping to change this; they deliver IT managed services to small and mid-sized businesses.  Their tagline, “We prevent tech rage in your workplace”, is very relatable to anyone who has ever clicked onto a bad link, opened an infected attachment, or simply couldn’t get their computer to turn on.

Matthew Rose, CEO and founder of ITS, has over 18 years of experience in IT as a Systems/Network Engineer, Senior Information Technology Manager, and IT Director. He and his wife, Erica Martinez-Rose, started the company in early 20

Leaving a lucrative IT position, to start the business was not something that the Roses took lightly, in fact, they didn’t tell their families until the company was started. Early on, they sought assistance from the Florida SBDC at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC), a sub-center of the Florida SBDC at UCF. Meeting with an FSBDC consultant allowed them to benefit from the FSBDC’s no-cost business counseling and mentoring. In addition, they utilized the many other resources available to them through the FSBDC, including their educational seminars and workshops, and extensive market research databases. “The unbiased opinion, constructive criticism, and support that we received from the FSBDC was invaluable. I feel like they definitely pushed us in the right direction,” said Rose.

Based on the 25% growth in sales they have achieved just this past year, ITS is out performing even their most optimistic projections. They have utilized Erica Rose’s journalism background to improve their marketing efforts, and have gotten involved in the community, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, and becoming active in the Oviedo Winter Springs, and Seminole Regional Chambers of Commerce.  “We’re proud of where we are right now,” said Martinez-Rose, “it’s amazing how much the two of us together have accomplished.”

Intersection Technology Solutions, LLC (ITS) delivers IT managed services to small and mid-size businesses and helps discover the root cause of Tech Rage in the workplace.  Since 2015, ITS has been helping companies outsource their IT operations and focus on their business goals instead of technology.  By implementing standards and procedures, providing 24/7/365 monitoring, and vCIO services, ITS prevents business-critical disruptions like downtime, ransomware, and the many growing pains associated with information technology.

For more information about ITS, please visit: http://www.intersectiontech.com/   and/or https://www.facebook.com/intersectiontech/

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2015, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 7,000 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in more than 7,300 jobs created, retained or saved; $990 million in sales growth; $74.4 million in capital formation; $101.7 million in government contract awards; and 111 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America’s SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the she SBA or other funding partners.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2015, the Florida SBDCs served almost 45,500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained or saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $947.4 million in capital accessed; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; and 3,857 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com

Eagle Eyes Legal, Paralegal, Elly Membreno, Kissimmee, Osceola, Florida, Small Businesses

Eagle Eyes Legal Services: Dedicated to Protecting Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

Assistance from the FSBDC at UCF Turns Nightmare into Dream-Come-True

August 17, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Sharon Madison had a plan. She purchased two franchises in Delaware with the goal of having a small business that would employee her neighbors and serve her community. But sometimes even the best of plans don’t work out.

First, the State of Delaware wouldn’t license the franchises to operate in their state. Madison went immediately to her franchisor who asked her to relocate to Florida, claiming licensing would be easier and she would have their full support there. But once she was set up and ready to go in the Sunshine State, she began having trouble getting that promised support and assistance from her franchisor.

Without extensive business experience and in the absence of support from her franchisor, Madison turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its satellite office in Kissimmee, FL. There she began taking business seminars and receiving no-cost, expert consulting from FSBDC consultant Elly Membreno.

Together, Madison and Membreno started charting a course for her franchise, including taking a hard look at the agreements and paperwork that Madison had signed when she purchased the franchises. What they found was a nightmare. The franchisor was completely ignoring its contractual obligations, its paperwork was full of misrepresentations and falsehoods and franchises they presented as active were non-existent, with addresses that turned out to be vacant lots or foreclosed homes.

Although discouraged and distraught, Madison fought back. She retained an attorney and they were able to recover her initial investment, but not the money she had put into marketing, payroll and starting up the business. She was at a cross roads and did not know where to turn.

“The FSBDC encouraged me not to give up,” Madison recalls today. “They urged me to look further. To leverage my experience. My consultant Elly told me I was too good a business woman to let this defeat me.”

“One thing I knew was there were 69 other people just like me who had been tricked by the franchisor,” she continued. “And I wondered how many other people are out there who go into buying or selling a business without a complete understanding of what they are getting into and what the papers they are signing really mean.”

It was at then that Madison’s company, Eagle Eyes Legal Services, LLC, was born. Dedicated to providing clients with professional due diligence review and analysis of business documents and disclosures, Eagle Eyes makes sure there are no surprises for its clients. Madison’s first step was to obtain advanced paralegal degrees. Second, she enlisted the FSBDC to conduct market research to assess the size of the business opportunity. The FSBDC also helped Madison put together a marketing plan and find the resources she needed to build her website. Next, she applied and was accepted into the UCF Business Incubation program.

“Working with the FSBDC has been a great experience for me. My dream has come true. I am successful today, and I can thrive and go forward, because they guided and pushed me. If it hadn’t been for them, I’d be nowhere.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). The FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.

In 2015, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 7,000 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in more than 7,300 jobs created, retained or saved; $990 million in sales growth; $74.4 million in capital formation; $101.7 million in government contract awards; and 111 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide partnership program nationally accredited by the Association of America’s SBDCs and funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s lead host institution. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the she SBA or other funding partners.

For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.

In 2015, the Florida SBDCs served almost 45,500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained or saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $947.4 million in capital accessed; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; and 3,857 new businesses started.

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862
sbdc@ucf.edu | www.sbdcorlando.com