Roger Greenwald, Dave Holt and Jill Kaufman

Surveying and Mapping Equipment Dealer GPServ, Inc. Grows by Delivering “Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.”

FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council Program Assists with Employee, Revenue and Profit Growth

September 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                 Jill Kaufman, Assistant Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or Jill.Kaufman@ucf.edu

                Roger Greenwald, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or RGreenwald@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – “Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.” That’s the business mantra at GPServ, Inc., a leading purveyor of surveying, mapping and field instruments and supplies to professionals in the engineering, surveying, and construction industries. Think GPS, optical, laser, hydro and drone equipment; practically everything a land surveyor might need.

Founder and president Dave Holt puts a lot of stock in that mantra, applying it not only to what he promises his customers but to how he runs his business as well. It’s a philosophy that led him to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) and its Advisory Board Council (ABC).

“GPServ had been in business 15 or so years and we were doing fine,” recalls Holt. “We always turned a profit, had expanded carefully, moved into a new building, added services. But we weren’t growing as fast as I thought we could. I had heard about the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council through the National Entrepreneur Center and wanted to learn more.”

Surveying and Mapping Equipment Dealer  GPServ, Inc. Grows by Delivering “Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.”

Dave Holt, GSPServ

Designed for established, second-stage companies, 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 Holt’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.

“I wasn’t confident that my approach to understanding and managing company finances was solid enough,” Holt remembers. “And I thought there was room for improvement in our general management and we can always be better at marketing.” It was towards addressing these issues that Jill Kaufman, the program manager of the ABC, built GPServ’s Advisory Board while FSBDC consultant Roger Greenwald assisted Holt with implementing its recommendations.

“My Advisory Board helped me understand we had a good business going, that we were making money but there were things we could do to grow,” Holt says today. “They helped us with our finances, our management, our marketing. Sometimes it’s really hard to focus because there is so much going on day to day. The Board really helps you narrow down the things you need to work on. For me, it was invaluable.”

The results speak for themselves. “When we started with the ABC, we had 5½ employees and revenues in the $3 million ballpark. Since that time, we’ve expanded to 12½ employees, our revenues have doubled and our profits have tripled,” Holt states. “I feel like the FSBDC and my Advisory Board were instrumental in helping us grow.”

“If I were to counsel another business owner who has the opportunity to take advantage of the Advisory Board Council, I would really encourage them to do so. You get a group of people who have a wide range of skills – none of which I had – who help you throughout the full width of your business. It was just so valuable for me and my business.”

“Expert Guidance. Trusted Results.” True for GPServ, Inc. and apparently for the FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council as well.

For information about GPServ, Inc., please visit www.gpserv.com.

— 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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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

Revology

Revology Cars Expanding Production Thanks to New Capital Investment

FSBDC at UCF Supports Reproduction Classic Car Manufacturer With Business Training and Capital Access Consulting

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

                Pauline Davis, Assistant Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or Pauline.Davis@ucf.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2018

Orlando, FL – Smart entrepreneurs are the ones who know they don’t know everything. And who then go out to find the help they need, to fill the holes they may have to make their businesses successful.

Tom Scarpello is one of those smart entrepreneurs. He’s the founder and president of Revology Cars, LLC, a manufacturer and builder of totally cool, brand-new (and updated with modern technology and features), Ford-licensed reproduction classic 1960’s Ford Mustang and Shelby GT automobiles. Revology is the first company to ever be licensed by the Ford Motor Company to build reproductions of any of its vehicles in the company’s more than a century of existence. That’s how good Revology Cars is and how true to the original the vehicles it builds are.

When he started Revology, Scarpello brought 26 years of corporate auto industry experience to his new company but believed he needed to know more. “While I have a good base of technical and functional skills in my areas of expertise, I had not been exposed to a lot of the elements of running my own business,” he recalls.

Revology Cars Expanding Production Thanks to New Capital Investment

Tom Scarpello and Pauline Davis

It was then that he turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance, in the form of both business training and consulting. “You can improve anything,” says Scarpello. “The FSBDC’s seminars are extremely valuable for entrepreneurs who are experts in their subject matter, but may not have expertise in running a business. I had a good experience there. It’s unusual to have an essentially free resource like the FSBDC that’s actually valuable. It is almost too good to be true, but then turns out to in fact be true.”

Beyond its business training, Scarpello also took advantage of the FSBDC’s no-cost consulting. As his business grew, the need for capital to finance that growth became apparent. Scarpello connected with FSBDC consultant Pauline Davis, an expert in accessing capital, to help him prepare a presentation or “pitch” to potential investors. “I had never done an investor pitch before,” Scarpello recalls. “I’d read books and watched videos but never really gone through the process.”

“The FSBDC was an outstanding resource that helped us to be very prepared for our pitch. They put together a panel of mock investors that allowed us to practice and fine tune our presentation,” says Scarpello. “Ultimately we were successful and able to raise the $2 million in funding we needed.”

“The FSBDC was a great partner. They have people who are or have been entrepreneurs, who are or have been investors, who have the experience, who have been through this before and were able to give us excellent guidance,” Scarpello went on. “We raised our capital really quickly. It made us wonder if we could have gone for more or, more likely, if maybe we were just really well prepared as a result of going through this process with the FSBDC.”

“Today Revology Cars is growing really, really quickly,” concluded Scarpello. “Since we raised our funding, we’ve been able to hire new employees, buy new tooling and equipment and expand our existing facility. We’ve increased our production capacity. That’s all a result of successfully accessing new capital and that was, in part, a result of the work we did with the FSBDC.”

For information about Revology Cars, please visit www.revologycars.com.

— 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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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

Desiree Aviles, Owner of WaxMe

WaxMe Body Waxing Studio Open and Successful

FSBDC at UCF Assists Orlando Entrepreneur Plan and Start Her New Business

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

            Chuck Wheeler, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4846 or Charles.Wheeler@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Have you ever wanted to be your own boss? Have your own company? Be the 100% beneficiary of your hard work? Desiree Aviles did and decided to start her own business. But, she asked, “where do I start?”

Although early in her career, Aviles was already a successful aesthetician with a loyal client following at a highly-regarded Orlando spa. All thanks to her expertise as a skilled and licensed body waxing technician. Like many first-time entrepreneurs, however, she was not an experienced business planner or manager.

“I had no idea how to start or run a business,” Aviles recalls. “Not a clue. And I don’t have friends who have their own businesses either. I felt like I could never have done what needed to be done on my own. So I decided to go to the FSBDC to see what I could learn from them.”

And that’s what Desiree Aviles did. She went to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and attended its “How to Start Your Business” training class. Then she followed that by meeting with FSBDC consultant Chuck Wheeler.

“It’s like I said, this was all new to me. I didn’t know about business entities, EIN numbers, breakeven analysis,” Aviles continued. “But then the FSBDC took me through everything I needed to get started.”

WaxMe Body Waxing Studio Open and Successful

FSBDC at UCF Consultant Chuck Wheeler with WaxMe Owner Desiree Aviles

“Walking into that class, I felt a little intimidated because of my lack of knowledge. But I was made to feel very at ease right away. Then I sat down with my consultant and he helped me so much. He was always there for me as I moved ahead. Anytime I had a question or needed help, he was there.”

As a result of Aviles’s hard work and the assistance of the FSBDC, her new business WaxMe – a studio offering full body waxing for men and women, “from the face all the way down to the toes,” using only organic hard wax – was started. She has now been in business a few months and is off to a great start. “Business has been booming,” she reports. “Between my loyal clients and some new ones I have found through marketing online, I am already making money. In fact, I hit breakeven within 5 days of opening my doors.”

“It has been great working with the FSBDC. If I hadn’t gone there, I wouldn’t be here,” new business owner and successful entrepreneur Aviles says today. “They are exceptional. No one else will sit down with you and go into such detail on how to start a business. There’s so much involved that I didn’t know about but my consultant and the FSBDC did, and they guided me through.”

“I know there is more I have to learn and I will be using the FSBDC to help me,” concluded Aviles. “I plan to continue attending their seminars, and will be meeting regularly with my consultant for his counseling. Their assistance and service has been exceptional from beginning to end. And this isn’t the end for WaxMe; it’s only the beginning.”

For information about WaxMe, please visit www.waxmestudio.com.

— 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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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

Kascel Therapy, Florida SBDC at UCF - Palm Coast

Kascel Therapy LLC: Delivering Quality Care While Building Business Success

Pediatric Occupational Therapist Growing with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF – Palm Coast

July 25, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Ray Peter, Area Manager, FSBDC at UCF – Palm Coast, 386-986-4786 or Ray.Peter@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Striking the balance between delivering quality health care while building a successful small business is no mean feat. You come into the undertaking with the training and experience necessary to help your clients but then often must add new and unfamiliar business management skills and knowledge. It is a challenge that can be met and mastered, if you get help.

And that’s what Jennifer Baker and husband Kevin did when they launched Kascel Therapy, LLC – they found help from Ray Peter, area manager and consultant at the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) in Palm Coast.

Kascel Therapy, LLC is a pediatric occupational therapy company providing outpatient clinic and early intervention services. They teach children how to improve the cognitive, self-care, sensory and play skills they need throughout the day.

The company mission is “Helping Children Reach Their Potential”.  With over 16 years’ experience as a certified pediatric occupational therapist, Jennifer Baker pursues that mission with each and every client while her husband Kevin manages the business operations.

The Bakers came to Florida 7 years ago and initially Jennifer operated as a sole practitioner and contractor working for a larger organization. But changes in direction and business structure at the larger company prompted the Bakers to decide to go their own way and start their own, independent business. “We had no idea what we were getting into,” says Jennifer Baker. “We just knew that something had to change if we were to continue serving our clients the way we wanted to. That’s why we turned to the FSBDC.”

“The FSBDC has been a guiding light through all of this,” Jennifer Baker recalls. “Ray took us by the hand and showed us the way. He led us through the whole business building process. Creating the business plan, the financial plan, from billing to insurance to marketing, he helped us with everything. The FSDBDC’s resources are amazing.”

“Running a business was uncharted territory for us,” says Kevin Baker. “Leasing, licensing, negotiating, financial management. It was all new. But primarily through the FSBDC’s consulting and guidance, we made progress. They helped Jennifer take what are exceptional skills and turn them into an exceptional business.”

Today Kascel Therapy, LLC is a small business success story. The Bakers have succeeded at providing quality client care while building and managing a growing business. What began as serving zero children grew to a trickle of 5 but now stands at almost 50 pediatric occupational therapy clients. They have moved to a new, larger facility. New processes and procedures are in place to manage the business.

“The guidance from the FSBDC has helped us grow, there is no doubt about it” concluded Jennifer Baker. “I can’t imagine us having had our success without their assistance.”

For information about Kascel Therapy LLC, please visit www.kasceltherapy.org.

— 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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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

Joe Brotzman, Jill Kaufman and Troy Hage (L-R)

Atlantic Stonework: Succeeding with Confidence

Orlando Company Grows with Help of FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council

July 12, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

    Jill Kaufman, Assistant Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4854 or  Jill.Kaufman@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Confidence. For owners of small- and medium-sized business, it can make all the difference. Faced with challenges of all sorts – from competition to staffing to cash flow – while constantly considering opportunities with new customers, new products and new business lines, leaders need to make decisions and make good ones if their companies are to thrive. And being confident in those decisions means faster action, stronger follow through and better results.

Troy Hage and Joe Brotzman, owners of Atlantic Stonework CFL, have been making good decisions from the start but thought they could do better. Atlantic Stonework is in the business of offering high quality, turn-key hardscape installations – pavers, coping, travertine, retaining walls – to residential and commercial customers. Hage came to the company after having multiple businesses over the years, but he came with a nagging doubt. “You never know if you’re making the right decision or the wrong decision, until after the fact,” he recalls. “You are always looking for someone to talk to, to ask questions, to help reassure you that you’re making the right choice.”

Hage had learned that advisory boards are a great source of guidance and a small business ‘best practice.’ “I was in the process of creating an advisory board on my own when I learned about the Florida SBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council program. It was award-winning. There was no cost. Past clients endorsed the program enthusiastically. It was just what I was looking for,” he says now.

An FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council (ABC) is a no-cost board of experts providing advice and counsel to help businesses grow.  The FSBDC acts as a matchmaker between established local businesses like Atlantic Stonework 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.

“Truly, our Advisory Board Council was a blessing,” says Hage. “Jill Kaufman, the ABC program manager, put together a great team for us. There was a banker, a CFO and a sales & marketing expert, both from the construction industry, and a human resources practitioner. I called them our “Dream Team” because they were that good. We learned so much.”

“The guidance and direction from our advisory board was invaluable,” Brotzman says. “Just bouncing ideas off them and getting their feedback helped us tremendously. We even did a successful start-up business while they were advising us. That’s a first for the ABC!”

“The number one thing that we got from our advisors was the understanding that a lot of the decisions we were making were the right decisions,” continued Hage. “It boosted our confidence in a big way. Now we’re coming into situations more assured, making better choices and being a lot more successful.”

“In fact, since starting with the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council program, our revenues have increased 57%. At the same time, we were able to reduce our sales territory and become more efficient, yet serve more customers,” concluded Hage. “More confidence is what we got from the FSBDC at UCF’s Advisory Board Council, and it’s been great for Atlantic Stonework.”

For information about Atlantic Stonework, please visit http://www.atlanticstonework.com/.

— 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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

 

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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

FSBDC, Ray Peter, Channel Side, Shane Bonner

Channel Side Achieving Success For Itself and for Palm Coast Businesses

Assistance from Florida SBDC at UCF – Palm Coast Helps Local Event Venue Open and Become National Wedding Destination

June 21, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

                 Ray Peter, Area Manager, FSBDC at UCF 0 Palm Coast, 386.986.4786 or Ray.Per@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Small business success stories sometimes go beyond the entrepreneur and the enterprise itself, and extend on to other local businesses and into the community. That’s the story for Shane Bonner, a founder and principal at Channel Side, the brand-new boutique venue on the water, set in the heart of Palm Coast, Florida’s 23 miles of saltwater canals.

Channel Side specializes in hosting weddings at a state-of-the-art facility in a strikingly beautiful, natural setting, but is also superb for Sweet 16 parties, anniversaries, and corporate meetings – any event that seeks to accommodate from 50 – 200 guests and chooses to be one to remember. What sets Channel Side apart is that its clients can create the atmosphere and the event of their dreams because they are able to bring in service providers of their choice –independent caterers, beverage providers, and other vendors of all kinds – and not locked into someone else’s food & beverage menu or event plan.

For Bonner, Channel Side was originally simply a real estate investment, and he believed a good one. “When we started out, I knew we had purchased a really great facility in a really great location but we weren’t certain how best to use it,” Bonner recalls. It was then that he turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF – Palm Coast (FSBDC at UCF) and its area manager Ray Peter for no-cost business consulting on how best to proceed.

“From what we were originally thinking to what we finally came to were two very different things, and the FSBDC was a huge contributor to us getting there,” Bonner says. “Ray Peter and the FSBDC were instrumental in re-framing our discussions and our persuading ourselves that leveraging the property’s legacy purpose – as a yacht club/country club – into an event space was our best course of action.”

“And then the FSBDC was there for us as we put together our operational plans, and worked with the City of Palm Coast to get the permits and licenses we needed,” continued Bonner. “I couldn’t have done this without the FSBDC, in fact. There was so much that I didn’t know. Without their knowledge of how a business like this works and how to get things done locally, I don’t think we’d have gotten Channel Side off the ground.”

“But here we are! Less than a year in business, and we have hosted more than 100 events and have reservations for another hundred in the months ahead. We have surpassed our stretch goals by a huge margin,” Bonner remarked. “Originally we thought Channel Side would be a local concept, catering to Palm Coast and neighboring towns. Now we are getting calls from around the country. We’ve become a wedding destination!”

“Best of all, we have partnered with local businesses to serve our clients,” Bonner concluded. “Area florists, photographers, hotels, restaurants, caterers and others are all benefiting from spending by our local and out-of-town guests. Beyond the success of our business, we are so proud that Channel Side is having a positive economic impact here in Palm Coast. And I can’t imagine that happening without the assistance of the FSBDC.”

For information about CHANNEL SIDE, please visit www.channelsideclub.com.

— 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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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

Gina Wightman of Wightman & Associates

Wightman & Associates: Finding Success with Government Contracting Services Offered by Florida PTAC at UCF’s Bid Match System

University of Central Florida’s PTAC, FSBDC, and Business Incubator Support Growth of Lake County Company.

May 15, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

              Steven South, PTAC Manager, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420-4859 or steven.south@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – For Gina Wightman, being the founder and now president of Wightman & Associates, LLC (W&A) was only the start. Under her leadership, her company was a success with a broad client base. With the assistance of the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) entrepreneurial support ecosystem, including the Florida SBDC at UCF, the UCF Business Incubator and the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at UCF, W&A was established and looking to grow.

Wightman & Associates is in the business of helping government, public service and other organizations optimize their effectiveness. “Workforce Excellence through Innovation and Technology” is its mission. W&A helps those enterprises analyze training needs and provides mission-focused training development and consulting services. They specialize in assisting public and private entities focused on natural hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, disaster response and recovery, environmental health, epidemiology, safety, & environmental and radiological protection.

Doing business with the government is an especially significant opportunity for small- and medium-sized businesses, but is too often overlooked. For Gina Wightman, because of a long and successful career working in that arena, it was her sweet spot. And she pursued it aggressively using the Government Contracting Services offered by the Florida PTAC at UCF.

“The training seminars, consulting and business tools made available to me through the Florida PTAC at UCF have been invaluable,” Wightman says today. “I can’t emphasize enough how important working with the Florida PTAC has been. At the start, they helped us obtain certification as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) which makes us more competitive for government contracts. We were turned down initially but our Procurement Specialist coached us through our appeal and we were approved!”

From there, the Florida PTAC at UCF introduced Wightman and W&A to the PTAC Bid Match database. Built to help clients like W&A find government contracting opportunities with just one click, the PTAC Electronic Bid-Match system enables companies to receive targeted federal, state, and local solicitations via e-mail daily. To populate this exclusive database, the Bid Match service monitors hundreds of procurement Web sites around the clock.

“Florida PTAC has been the source of consistent and solid support and help” continued Wightman. “They have reviewed and contributed to our capabilities statement and contract proposals. They have taught us how to access and use the PTAC Bid Match database – and we have won a contract thanks to it! I am so much more knowledgeable about all things government contracting, like GSA schedules, DUNS numbers and so much more. All thanks to the guidance of the Florida PTAC at UCF and its specialists.”

“Since starting with UCF’s programs, we have developed a broader range of services and a more focused pursuit of business development, especially thanks to being part of the PTAC Bid Match system” concluded Wightman. “It’s enabled us to increase our contracts by 20% year over year. If I had to use one word to describe all that we have gained from the UCF Business Incubator, Florida SBDC and Florida PTAC, it would be ‘Helpful’. Not the most dynamic description, but exactly what every small business needs: help.”

For information about Wightman & Associates, please visit http://wightman-associates.com.

FSBDC —

About the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at UCF

Government Contracting Services offered by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at the University of Central Florida provide high-value, confidential one-on-one consulting at no cost to help Florida businesses prepare, research, and bid on federal, state, and local government contracts. Since 1986, Florida PTAC client businesses statewide have won $8.3 billion in contract awards, helping to create and save 187,090 jobs. This PTAC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency. For more information, please visit www.fptac.org.

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. 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 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 existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 513,107 hours of professional business consulting to 74,669 client businesses, resulting in 252,955 jobs created, retained, or saved; $33.3 billion in sales growth; $2.6 billion in government contract awarded; $1.4 billion in capital investments acquired; and 4,159 new businesses started.

A statewide network of over 40 offices, 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. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. 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.

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