FSBDC, Irma, Hurricane, disaster, bridge loan, Florida, government, ASBDC, disaster assistance

Sumter County Businesses Benefiting from Florida SBDC at UCF Assistance

Local Business Owners and Entrepreneurs Praise Expert Business Consulting and Other Available Resources

Contact:
Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or hthayer@ucf.edu
Neal Kimball, Area Manager, FSBDC at UCF – Sumter County, 352-689-4449 or neal.kimball@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Sumter County business owners and entrepreneurs are raving about the assistance and resources they have found at the local office of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF). Since opening its doors in October 2016 to help local businesses grow and succeed, the FSBDC – in partnership with the Sumter County Office of Economic Development – has been providing no cost, one-on-one professional business consulting, value-added training and business information resources to its clients. And they are appreciating it!

Led by Neal Kimball, the FSBDC’s Sumter County Area Manager and an expert business consultant, local small business development center clients have come forward to recommend the assistance available from the FSBDC:

“Tremendously helpful to us and our business,” says Ellen Bachmeyer, LCSW founder of Aging with Heart, offering programs for people who want to live life whole-heartedly as they age.

“Has made significant impact on my business” says Kathleen Bogolin, President of Financial Legacy Builders LLC, a consulting firm focused on strategic growth and profitability.

“Proven to be a valuable business advisor helping me improve my processes and firm up my foundation for growth” says John McAuley, President of McAuley LLC, a healthcare safety and security firm.

Experiences like these are the rule at the Sumter County FSBDC office.  The new sub-center, the FSBDC at UCF’s eighth, is located on the first floor in Suite 140 of The Villages Sumter County Service Center at 7375 Powell Road, Wildwood, FL 34785. The FSBDC at UCF – Sumter County’s direct line is 352-689-4449.

The FSBDC and its consultants provide confidential and customized consulting services in such areas as business planning, financial analysis, sales/marketing and many others. In addition, it conducts training seminars and workshops covering the basics of starting a business, marketing, financing, legal issues and writing a business plan. Finally, the FSBDC has access to major market research databases that provide information on customers (including prospecting data), competitors, and industries.

Kimball brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role in Sumter County. He has extensive sales and marketing and small business experience. After an accomplished career in sales, marketing and business development for major consumer products companies including PepsiCo, McDonald’s Corporation and Miller Brewing, he most recently was founder, president and owner of a highly successful small business holding company with four separate operating units built around student and family educational services. His strong background as an entrepreneur and business strategist has made him ideally suited to consult with and assist clients in Sumter County as they navigate the challenges and opportunities faced by small businesses seeking profitable long-term growth.

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FSBDC at UCF – Sumter County

Client Testimonials

John McAuley, President of McAuley LLC

As a small businesses owner dealing with daily challenges and long hours, it is difficult to find the time to devote to strategic planning. I am the president of two small businesses focused in healthcare but very different products and business models. When I heard of Neal Kimball and our local SBDC office I reached out to learn how Neal may be able to help me manage and grow my businesses. I made the time to go meet with Neal and tell him about my businesses and my struggles.

Our first session ended with Neal handing me a book and information on another book that he highly recommended. I purchased the book and read it. I was in the middle of designing a new website and new marketing message and after reading this book it changed my direction and I quickly made adjustments to my website and marketing materials to better relay my message. This one gesture of guidance allowed me to see through the fog and create a more clear message to my potential customers.

The next time we met, we tackled topics like hiring/firing, finding strategic partners, product videos and marketing opportunities. Neal continues to bring me ideas and research information that can help me with both businesses. I had an interested buyer who presented a letter of intent to purchase part of my business and I immediately called Neal and asked that he review the structure of the deal. He helped by pulling from some of his own experiences and ran the agreement by some legal and business experts that gave very important input that helped me reshape some language for my protection.

Again, as a small business owner it’s hard to find the necessary time for strategic planning. Neal has proven to be a valuable business advisor helping me improve my processes and firm up my foundation for growth over the next several years. We have created new jobs and new opportunities in the area and our growth will continue. I am very thankful for the SBDC and the service it has provided to me as a small business owner.

Ellen Bachmeyer, founder of Aging With Heart

Neal has been tremendously helpful to us and our business. We sought out help from the SBDC several months ago for 2 reasons:  1) to create a better, stronger, viable, profitable business and 2) to craft a strong marketing message.

In anticipation of changes to our existing business my husband, Tim and I had started another business in order to create other streams of income. Three years ago we founded The Windhorse Center. The WHC offers programs-seminars, courses and retreats for people in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond to discover meaning in a culture that believes you’re “done.” We also help people gain more insight on moving through the many challenges of aging. It has been a slow process because the name of the business and the message were not clear, and the ways I sought to get the message out was cost prohibitive.

This is where Neal came in.

The first task he had us do was to create a business plan using the Business Canvas Model. That experience was life changing. It challenged us to get more specific and clear. It has becoming our foundation for moving forward.

At Neal’s suggestion, we have renamed the business “Aging With Heart.” Now, a new web site is currently being developed. Text for the website has come directly from the Canvas Business Model.  We are also creating a flyer for broader distribution in the community. Social media is not favored by many people of this age, so different avenues for developing a client base must be explored.

Neal’s approach is all about building relationships. He has shared articles to read that were excellent on the “why” of our product and relationship building. He is currently exploring where, how and who we need to build relationships in The Villages and on a larger national scale with online classes and other products. He is a great connector to people and community resources that might be of help.

All in all, we enjoy working with Neal. He works with us. He meets us where we are and gives us a larger context to understand the nature of business itself and how we increase our reach to the community in a profitable way.

Thank you, Neal.

Kathleen Bogolin, Principal at Financial Legacy Builders LLC

I first met with Neal because I was interested in growing my business.

I am grateful for the connection because he has made a significant impact on my business.  He introduced me to the Business Model Canvas system and I am using it on my business as well as working with clients.  One of my clients is using it to develop key partners in building her business.  Another is taking a strategic approach to marketing, reducing expenses, and employee management.

More importantly, referrals from Neal have opened new doors to expand my business.  Two of his referrals have led to additional referrals and the introduction to major opportunities. One of them is especially important because it links my passion for making a difference in the fight against cancer to my expertise in technology and helping clients take a strategic approach to increased profitability. I have come to enjoy the time spent with Neal and truly appreciate his valuable insights and great sense of humor.

Neal has been very helpful to 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

JDI, TK Lamb, FSBDC at UCF, PTAC, Government Contracting

Consulting Firm JDI, LLC Carves Out Place In Government Contracting Market

December 28, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) provides a broad range of services: expert, no-cost business consulting; training and seminars; access to extensive market research resources; and specialized services, for example how to do business with the government.

Behind all of these services, however, the FSBDC often plays a role that turns out to be critical to the long-term success of entrepreneurs and small business owners: that of being a mentor and partner. Building upon their experience and expertise, FSBDC consultants understand the challenges their clients face and have the answers clients need to make their businesses grow.

K. Lamb, the founder and principal of JDI, LLC, found a partner and mentor when he came to the FSBDC. Actually he found several of them. JDI is a consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations analyze and optimize their operations, and become high performance companies. It is not in the business of business start-ups however.

“I came to the FSBDC because I needed someone who knew more than I did about starting a business, and then managing and growing a start-up business” Lamb says. “I started with FSBDC consultant Pauline Davis, who helped me develop my business plan and understand my financial standing. Then I worked with FSBDC’s Government Contracting Services through its Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to understand the government market, what I should be doing, what I could be doing.”

“We small business owners go through a lot, a lot of pain points and challenges. What we need most is someone to talk to, to talk through the problems, experts who understand small business. Steven South, my current FSBDC consultant, brings a wealth of information and experience to my situation. He’s gone beyond being just a resource to being a partner and a mentor,” Lamb states.

Early on, the FSBDC recommended that JDI, LLC become verified as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) to enhance its opportunities in the government contracting market. At first, Lamb was hesitant. “I had this irrational belief that everything is difficult with the government, that I’m too small to get over the hurdle and win contracts,” Lamb recalls.

“Well, I got over the hurdle thanks to help from the FSBDC. I got approved,” he continued. “And then everyone said it would be years before I won my first contract. Well, they were wrong. I actually won my first contract in just over a year. And, now, two years later my firm had its first contract renewed and has won its second contract both worth over $1 million.”

“The changes in my business since I started with the FSBDC have been transformational,” concluded Lamb. “They provided the consultative advisory services that my business needed. Today it is a corner stone component to making sure I’m doing the right thing and covering my blind spots. I know I can rely on the FSBDC to help me and be there for 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

Millefiori Medical Skin Rejuvenation Building for the Future

FSBDC at Eastern Florida State College Assists Skin Care Boutique Develop Robust Financial and Business Management Processes

December 20, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Millefiori Medical Skin Rejuvenation Building for the Future

Owners Kyle and Iris Graham, and FSBDC at EFSC Area Director Marty Duffy (L-R)

Orlando, FL – Having a great idea for a new business is only the beginning for an entrepreneur. After the market has been researched and the business plan is written and the funding has been arranged, the company opens its doors. And that’s when the fun starts; now the business needs to be managed.

Iris and Kyle Graham, founders and owners of Millefiori Medical Skin Rejuvenation, had just that experience. Millefiori MSR is a boutique medical spa offering aesthetic skin care services including facials, chemical peels and micro-needling for tattoo removal, as well as Botox, laser and injection treatments. They cater to a high-end clientele in Melbourne, FL where they are extremely active in the community.

When they opened in 2015, the Grahams were first-time business owners and were inventing their business as they went along. “We used to do everything on paper,” Iris Graham recalls. “We were ‘Old School’. I balanced my checkbook. We had a spreadsheet, and a ledger, and the checkbook. It was so redundant.”

“I network a lot in our community,” continued Kyle Graham. “I was telling people about the 30 – 35 hours a month we were spending on our financial system. And someone said that the FSBDC could help us systematize it and make it a lot quicker.”

The Grahams contacted Martin Duffy, the area manager and a consultant at the Florida SBDC at Eastern Florida State College, a sub-center of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF). “Working with the FSBDC, we went through the problems and diagnosed them and came up with a plan. Now we do everything electronically. Today we only spend 2 hours a month on our financials and all the information is at our finger tips,” Kyle says.

Getting their financial management house in order was only the beginning. The Grahams were already reviewing all of their business activities and codifying them into a company manual. The FSBDC’s support complemented this effort.  “We call it the Millefiori Bible,” Iris Graham notes. “Everything is written down. We have a process or procedure for everything in our business. We can now give our employees great training, they can do a great job and our clients get great service. Knowing we have it all down helps us sleep at night.”

The FSBDC team has also helped Millefiori MSR hone its marketing plan with in depth marketing research. “With the FSBDC’s assistance, we have gotten much better at understanding our target audience, segmenting it and reaching out to the right clients,” says Kyle Graham. “Since starting with the FSBDC, we’ve seen our business increase by 40% consistently, until this year when we have seen a 50% increase in revenue. We have been slammed!”

“The FSBDC is an amazing resource,” concluded Iris Graham. “It’s a huge opportunity for us to get very professional consulting at a high level like this, all at no cost. We’ve been able to improve as business managers. Now we have a laser-like focus on what’s important to increase our business. We would highly recommend the FSBDC to anyone.”

— 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

DeLand Delivery, Daytona State College, FSBDC, FSBDC Network, Small Business Development Center. UCF

Deland Delivery Brings Quality Food Delivery to Volusia County

Florida SBDC at Daytona State College Assistance Helps Local Company Start and Succeed

December 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) and its sub-center at Daytona State College (FSBDC at DSC) serve a broad range of clients, from pre-venture through startups and on to established small-to-medium sized businesses. The FSBDC’s mix of no-cost consulting, training and seminars and access to huge market research databases and resources are designed to respond to the business-building needs of all types of enterprises.

Deland Delivery, founded by Justin Ringer, is a case in point. Deland Delivery is a meal delivery company that picks up orders at local restaurants and delivers them to local customers, right to their doorstep. Their easy-to-use website and app, excellent choice of partner restaurants and fast delivery have made them a favorite in their community and at Stetson University.

Deland Delivery Brings Quality Food Delivery to Volusia County

Justin Ringer and FSBDC Consultant Kevin Tilley

Ringer started the company in response to a problem he identified as a student: the absence of convenient and fast food delivery. He spoke with his professors and mentors about starting a business to meet the need for a delivery service.   He then did research to see what resources were available to assist him.

The FSBDC at Daytona State College had just what he needed. “Those guys know what they are doing,” Ringer said recently. “They help small businesses get started. I checked them out and decided to go ahead and take advantage of this great resource.”

“I got information from them about setting up a business, licenses, taxes, small business accounting, all kinds of valuable knowledge as I was trying to figure it all out,” he continued. “I relied mostly on their no-cost consulting, working with my FSBDC consultant Kevin Tilley. But I took some seminars, too. A class on digital marketing was very helpful for my business. I learned a lot about social media and how to use it.”

“The FSBDC has been a great support system for me. My consultant is always there to answer my questions, or get me an answer if he doesn’t have it, or set me in the right direction,” Ringer went on. “How do I reach more customers? Am I doing this the right way? Is this in compliance with the law? Are these the best processes and procedures? I had so many questions and the FSBDC was always there to help.”

Deland Delivery is now up and running, and a going concern. When it started, it focused on the local student market but during the summer branched out to serve the greater Deland community. With the students now back in school, business has been getting better and better and positive reviews have been coming in over social media.

“As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you have already taken that risk, taken that chance to start something that’s new and fresh,” Ringer concluded. “Having someone like the FSBDC looking over your shoulder, helping and guiding you really helps. Their knowledge, support, and resources give you hope and motivation.”

— 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

FSBDC, Irma, Hurricane, disaster, bridge loan, Florida, government, ASBDC, disaster assistance

Florida SBDC at UCF Supports Central Florida Businesses Impacted By Hurricane Irma

FSBDC Collaborates to Close 77 Loans Totaling More Than $2.5 Million as Part of Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida

December 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) today announced it had participated in the origination and processing of 77 state disaster loans totaling more than $2.5 million for businesses in Central Florida that experienced damages from Hurricane Irma as part of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program. The program provided a source of expedient cash flow to small businesses physically and/or economically impacted by the storm. The program closed on November 30, 2017.

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network – the state’s designated principal provider of small business assistance — 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, September 18.

The range of businesses receiving State of Florida-backed bridge loans with FSBDC at UCF assistance was broad, including companies in the hospitality, farming, manufacturing and services industries, among others. Positive comments from loan recipients were many and enthusiastic. Please see below.

“There is little that is more rewarding than assisting others after a disaster,” said Tom O’Neal, UCF Associate Vice President of Research and Commercialization with responsibility for oversight of the FSBDC at UCF’s affiliation with the University. “The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program gave the Florida SBDC at UCF a tremendous opportunity to help their core constituency – the small businesses of Central Florida – in a time of need. We at the University of Central Florida are pleased that our hosting of the FSBDC and its important economic development and community support mission enables so positive an outcome for our region.”

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FSBDC at UCF Client Testimonials:

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

The Bridge Loan is allowing us to continue to pay our employees and not lay anyone off. It will also help our cash flow that was so harmed by our loss of business and revenues, as we had to rely on credit cards to cover more than $100,000 in bills since we were closed by the storm. The loan will help us repair our docks, utility boxes and the waste treatment facility, as well as remove the trees and debris on the property. The FSBDC was wonderful. And so helpful. They acted really quickly; we had our loan within a week. And that was such a relief. Now we have some light at the end of the tunnel. — Judy Armstrong, Owner, Holly Bluff Marina, Deland, FL

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. — Omar Carmona, Managing Partner, Carmona Law, Winter Park FL

The Bridge loan was very helpful to cover our losses over the two week time period. And the FSBDC was very helpful. It was a fast process from application to loan closing, less than two weeks. Thanks to FSBDC for all its help.  – Roy Scafidi, Owner, Island Waveski Inc dba Oceansports World, Cocoa Beach FL

The loan is going to replace the revenue we lost. Working with the FSBDC was awesome. They helped me when I started my business 20 years ago. And here they are again. I didn’t realize all of the services they offer now. It has been tremendous working with them. This is going to help so much. — Angela Roth, Owner, American Sign Language Services, Kissimmee FL

With this loan we can pay our employees; pay our vendors; and start working again. 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. — Betty Berkland, Owner, Di-Versified, LLC, Apopka FL

The bridge loan is going to be amazing. I have the payroll, the rent, power bill all coming due. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I prayed with my wife for help from somewhere. And the FSBDC called and said the loan was approved. It was crazy. Amazing. So now I believe in miracles. — Daniel Carvalho, Owner, Brooklyn Coffee Shop, Orlando FL

This is going to mean that we won’t have to lay off any of our more than 50 employees. Cash flow has been hit hard and the same for working capital. This gets us past that and back into doing business. Working with the FSBDC was great. They were amazing. The process was extremely fast; not more than a week and a half. And really simple. For a government outfit, it was amazing. — Wally and Karen Owens, Owners, Three Volcanoes Farm, Tavares FL

The Bridge Loan was absolutely handy. Structures are very expensive. Insurance doesn’t cover it. After deductibles, it wasn’t worth making the claim. This loan will help us rebuild our playgrounds. The kids are going to be very, very happy. The FSBDC were absolutely amazing. I came in on a Thursday afternoon and two business days later I had the money from the loan. It was absolutely great service. From the beginning to the end, a great experience. — Marnie Forestieri, CEO, Little Explorer Academy, Oviedo FL

With the expenses we have had, the lost revenues and the lost raw materials and inventory, the loan is so important to helping us get past those costs, replenish our stocks and get our cash flow going again. The FSBDC has been so helpful. Incredibly helpful. When we decided to apply, we got a call almost immediately. And they were incredibly responsive to all our questions. Then today we got a call to come pick up a check. And we said, “What? Already? This is crazy.” And it was incredible timing because we had big bills that needed to be paid and there was the money. The FSBDC was so awesome. — Caroline Yachan, President, TSecret, College Park FL

This loan is really a godsend from the State of Florida to help us continue our operations and salvage what we can until the insurance helps us recover with the rebuilding and replanting. This is exactly what we need after a disaster. We need help right away and the FSBDC was on top of it and able to provide me the assistance I needed.  — Milan Perily, Owner, Peckett’s, Inc., Apopka FL

— 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

Micah Nordquist, The Five 50 Group, FSBDC at UCF, PTAC, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Government Contracting Services, Department of Defense

The Five 50 Group Poised for Growth In Government Contracting

Construction Firm Gains Service Disabled Veteran Certification With Assistance from Florida SBDC at UCF

November 30, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Making the transition from military service into the private sector is often a challenging undertaking, and even more so when the move is into a hyper-competitive industry like construction. Fortunately, being a veteran can mean opportunities if you know where to find them, particularly if the goal is to compete for government contracts.

Micah Nordquist is the founder and president of The Five 50 Group, a general construction and construction services company serving Central Florida and the Southeastern United States. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a field artillery veteran who served in the Iraq War.

As Nordquist was building The Five 50 Group, he looked for ways to distinguish his company from the competition. By its very name, the company sets itself apart. 550 (parachute) cord is well known in the military community for its versatility and reliability solving even the toughest problems, whether that be building an emergency shelter, securing equipment or fixing a field tourniquet. It is versatility and reliability that The Five 50 Group promises to every client: to do whatever it takes to see their project completed successfully and in a timely manner.

As he looked into diversifying his company by pursuing government contracts, Nordquist also identified the competitive benefits that come from being certified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). “I have known from the beginning that, whatever business I am in, being certified as a SDVOSB was going to set me apart. As I did my research, I learned quickly that my first step was to find my local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC),” Nordquist said recently.

“And so I turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF’s Government Contracting Services and Steve South, a Government Contracting Specialist through its Procurement Technical Assistance Center,” Nordquist continued. “”He partnered with me, educated me and prepared me for the application process from beginning to end: what I needed, literature to understand the process, tools to track collection and submission. Steve was there every step of the way.”

“Then, once my application was submitted and I was contacted by the Defense Logistics Agency’s Center for Verification and Evaluation about what more they needed, Steve South reviewed their requests, assisted me in creating a response strategy and helped me go through three rounds of review before the process was completed and my company was certified,” Nordquist went on to say.

“My certification was just the beginning of the influential role the FSBDC’s Government Contracting Services through its PTAC has played in the growth of my small business. Their services have provided me with business networking opportunities, partner matchmaking events, training and workshops. They have been key to me taking my next steps.”

“I would encourage anyone looking to win government contracts to seek out the FSBDC at UCF’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center and its outstanding consultants. It’s so amazing that there’s a resource like this and you don’t want to miss out,” Nordquist concluded.

— 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

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.