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.”

+++++++++++++++

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

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

Higher Learning Development Center: An Entrepreneurial Success Story

Dream is realized with Assistance from FSBDC at UCF

November 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

Higher Learning Development Center: An Entrepreneurial Success Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

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

Nutritious Lifestyles, Inc. on Accelerating Growth Path

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

Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida

October 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

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

Popcorn Junkie Comes to Church Street with Gourmet Popcorn for Connoisseurs

FSBDC at UCF Assists Entrepreneurs Realize their Dream

October 18, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist.

Recommended First Step: Businesses to Complete Disaster Assessment

Media Release

September 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist

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

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

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

About the Florida SBDC Network:

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