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

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist.

Recommended First Step: Businesses to Complete Disaster Assessment

Media Release

September 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist

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

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

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

About the Florida SBDC Network:

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

 

 

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

Intersection Technology Solutions Preventing ‘Tech Rage’ for Clients

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

August 31, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 17, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

Villages-News.com; FSBDC; Lake County; Villages; Sumter County

Villages-News.com: The Go-To Source of ‘Real News, Right Now’

Florida SBDC in Lake County Assists Digital News Company Become Industry Leader

August 9, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – There is no one formula for building a successful business. Certainly not one that creates the #1 digital news website in The Villages®, America’s premier active adult retirement community located in central Florida and the fastest growing metropolitan statistical unit in the United States.

And Meta Marie Minton and Jeremiah Delgado, co-owners of Villages-News.com, will be the first to admit it. When she founded the news site back in 2013, she understood how hard it can be to start a business. “When we started, I knew how to do the news but I didn’t know how to run a business,” she says.

The Villages-News.com provides news coverage of government, crime, classifieds, and local events for The Villages®, Florida and surrounding communities. It is the only source that provides “Real News, Right Now” to the largest retirement community in the United States. Stories from Villages-News.com have been featured in local and national news syndicates, including CNN, NBC, CBS, USA Today, NY Post, and Huffington Post, among others.

Knowing what she didn’t know, it was then that Minton contacted the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida’s (FSBDC at UCF) Lake County satellite office, now in Mt. Dora.  “A huge number of small businesses fail in the first year. I knew we had a tough mountain to climb,” Minton continued. “But if you have some direction, and some guidance, then you can make it happen.”

The first thing she did was take an FSBDC seminar about how to start a business. Then she began writing a business plan. Finally she met with one of the local FSBDC consultants, Stan Austin, to develop a strategy for making her business come to life. “I went to the FSBDC to take advantage of the resources they offer,” says Minton. “It was one of the first things I did when I wanted to start a company and was probably one of the smartest.”

An early step was finding and collaborating with Jeremiah Delgado, her co-owner and business development director. “I’m an old newspaper person. He’s got this great understanding of digital marketing. With the help of the FSBDC, together we have made Villages-News.com the success it is today,” Minton states.

Helping start the business was only the beginning of the ongoing services the FSBDC has provided. “Our FSBDC consultant helps us point our arrow in the right direction. He’s that outside person who has the experience and know how,” Minton went on. “He challenges us every step of the way, telling us we’re good, but not good enough; that we can do more; that we can do better. He has lit a fire that has pushed us to succeed. It’s been incredibly valuable.”

“With the FSBDC, we went from being a small-time business to being the leader in our industry and our area,” says Delgado. “We have a dominant social media presence and successful business because of help from the FSBDC. Our consultant gave us the insight and motivation to go out and succeed. The FSBDC is probably one of the best resources you can find for a small business,” he 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 2015, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 7,000 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in more than 7,300 jobs created, retained or saved; $990 million in sales growth; $74.4 million in capital formation; $101.7 million in government contract awards; and 111 new businesses started.

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

FSBDC, ASBDC, Midstate Caulking, Osceola County

Midstate Caulking & Construction Services LLC Finds Financing to Fund Rapid Growth

Florida SBDC at UCF in Kissimmee Assists With Consulting, Seminars and Resources

July 26, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Managing a small- to medium-sized business is all about challenges: some big, some small, some harrowing, some pleasing. But whatever size or shape they come in, they are still challenges and must be met or consequences will ensue.

Midstate Caulking & Construction Services LLC, and its founders and principals Brenda and Leon Clement, faced a major challenge in 2014. Fortunately, it was the good kind. The company they had started in their garage – really – was exploding and growing faster than they could finance.

Midstate provides caulking, waterproofing, fire stopping, stucco, and deck coating services for commercial buildings in Central Florida and across the state. Their construction contractor customers find that work quality, scheduling and safety are as important to the company as they are to its clients. Midstate understands the need for timely project completion, working with other trades, shift work, and accomplishing zero (0) punch list. It’s a formula that has meant exceptional growth and success for the company.

“We expected to be small and stay small,” says Brenda Clement. “But this is a niche market that started growing faster than we could ever have expected. As a small business with low overhead, we came out of the ’08 recession in good shape. When the economy started to grow again, demand for our services did too.”

And that’s where the challenge for Midstate arose. “In construction, you pay your people and expenses before you get paid. When you are growing fast, it can be tough to manage that float,” Clement continued. “We needed to know where to go to get more money to finance our growth.” That’s when she turned to the Kissimmee office of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and it’s Area Manager, consultant Rafael Martinez-Pratts.

Clement and her bookkeeper met with Pratt-Martinez to develop a financing plan. Together, they identified Midstate’s financing options, who might provide the needed funds, what information they would want and what kind of questions would need to be answered by the company. In the end, Clement was ready and fully prepared when she approached the bank she had selected for financing, and was successful in getting the funding that Midstate needed to pay for its continued growth.

“I recommend the FSBDC to any business owner,” concluded Clement. “If you have questions or need information, ask the FSBDC. If they don’t have the answer, they’ll lead you to someone who does.”

“Rafael and the FSBDC have let us know we are not alone in this. They care. They let you know you are supported. They have worked to build a relationship with us and have been a great resource for our company,” says Clement. “Along with helping us deal with our financing needs, their seminars and workshops have been very valuable. We’ve been able to learn new things and network with other, local business owners. We’ve gotten assistance with human resources issues and recruiting. I don’t see us outgrowing the need for them in any way, shape or form.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

FSBDC; Across Borders Management Consulting; Lake County

Across Borders Management Consulting Achieving OBJ ‘Fast 50’ Business Growth

IT Services and Solutions Company Benefiting From Full Suite of Services Offered by FSBDC at UCF

July 20, 2107
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Humility is not a quality always associated with entrepreneurs. Especially if theirs is an IT services and solutions company with a goal of delivering “Innovation through Strategic Thinking.” But when a self-effacing attitude is present, it can be an important part of a formula for long-term success.

Vijay Krishnan and Arathi Rajagopalan, husband and wife and co-founders of Across Borders Management Consulting Group, recognized early on their situation as they sought to grow their company. Then they allowed their clear-eyed assessment of the challenges they faced in building their business to guide them to seek assistance from the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).

“We didn’t know what we didn’t know” is Arathi Rajagopalan’s frank take on the early days of Across Borders. “We were a growing company with limited resources. That’s why we came to the FSBDC there we found a wealth of knowledge and services tailor-made for a company like ours,” she states.

“Since starting with the FSBDC, we have used every service they have to offer because they fit so well into where we want to take our business and how we want to grow. And all at little or no cost to the company,” Vijay Krishnan added. “It has made a big difference for us. We were a $1 million revenue company when we started with them; today we are closing in on $5 million.”

Both Vijay and Arathi Krishnan credit the FSBDC as helping shape the company that Across Borders is today. Initially they sought and received assistance regarding their sales and business development efforts from their FSBDC consultant Stan Austin. That was followed by an in-depth business and financial analysis by the FSBDC’s Roger Greenwald as part of the FSBDC’s Growth Acceleration Services. With that as a starting point, Across Borders was able to develop their first three-year strategic plan.

Meanwhile, the company and cofounders became part of the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council program, a next-level, business-support service matching them with experienced business professionals with a diverse range of skills who volunteer and work together on a “custom-fit” advisory board. Further on, Vijay Krishnan joined the FSBDC’s CEO XChange, an executive roundtable program offering a confidential setting for top executives to discuss vital business issues, opportunities and trends with a group of peers. Most recently, Across Borders worked with the FSBDC’s International Trade Services team and gained a ready-to-implement Export Marketing Plan.

“Across Borders has done everything right,” remarked Stan Austin. “They are the perfect FSBDC client. They listen. They get involved. They make decisions. They implement. It’s no wonder they have been an Orlando Business Journal  ‘Fast 50’ growth company two years running.”

“The FSBDC has become a critically important strategic partner for Across Borders,” states Vijay Krishnan. “They have worked with us every step of the way. Their services are at the top-most professional level. And their only focus is on helping us grow to the next level. That is the best kind of partnership possible. We’re very happy and thankful for the FSBDC.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

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

 

My Nona's Garden; Chuck Wheeler; Amber Harmon

My Nona’s Garden Bringing Gardening Home

Florida SBDC at UCF Assists Local Company Selling and Servicing Fresh Vegetable Box Gardens

July 13, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Finding the work-life balance you seek inevitably means making choices. Sometimes there are hard choices and sometimes not so hard choices.

For Amber Harmon, the founder and owner of My Nona’s Garden, her choices weren’t so hard. Yes, she gave up a lucrative career. But it required extensive travel and time away from the young family she and her husband were building. Instead, she gained the life she wanted with her young children and the opportunity to follow her passion: gardening.

The challenge she faced was how to make a living pursuing that passion. And so it was, with the help of the Florida SBDC at UCF, that Harmon’s company was born. My Nona’s Garden is in the business of selling and servicing 2 x 8 foot low-maintenance, elevated cedar vegetable box gardens for both business and residential customers. The company makes a fresh, organic, non-GMO vegetable garden possible and its goal is simple: “to bring health into our communities, one garden at a time.”

“My Nona’s Garden is my first time as a business owner. I was going out on my own and didn’t know where to start. That’s why I turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF for help,” Harmon says. “They offered seminars that set me on the right path from the beginning. I learned the basics, received the templates and resources I needed, and was able to get my business plan in order.”

“Then I took advantage of the FSBDC’s unlimited, no-cost consulting services,” Harmon continued. “My FSBDC consultant Chuck Wheeler gave me the guidance I needed. I got in depth assistance on my business plan. He helped me test and validate my ideas about my business concept and my product and services. He enabled me to strengthen my financial projections. And he provided me with ideas and resources to manage important business functions, like obtaining insurance and finding the employees I needed. Chuck was there for me every step of the way.”

Launched in September 2016, My Nona’s Garden is off to a good start. The company had its first customer the day it opened its doors! Along with advertising and exhibiting in the Lake Nona area, she is partnering with a major local developer to promote its community gardens with a gardening workshop series. She is also working with the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital to teach veterans about the rewards of gardening. Another workshop series is planned for a local retired-living community. And Harmon continues to serve local and metro-Orlando clients interested in purchasing the company’s raised gardens as well as having them serviced by My Nona’s Garden.

“I’m happy with the progress we are making,” concluded Harmon. “I would definitely highly recommend the Florida SBDC to anyone building a business. Whatever stage your business is at, the FSBDC can help. It covers all the bases and can answer all your questions. I’m looking forward to their assistance as I add structure to my business and start to manage its growth.”

For more information about My Nona’s Garden, please visit www.MyNonasGarden.com or www.facebook.com/MyNonasGarden.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

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

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

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

 

Gabe Ruiz, Advanced IT Concepts, Florida SBDC, Small Business Person of the Year

Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. Founder Gabe Ruiz Named 2017 SBA Small Business Person of the Year

Credits FSBDC at UCF as Helping Make Rapid Growth Possible

Friday May 12, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – For most small businesses, their greatest challenge is stable and continuous growth, and the faster they can achieve that growth, the better. Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. is a central Florida company that has, on the strength of its founders’ diligence and hard work, and with the help of the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF), turned their company into a small business success story.

Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel (Gabe) Ruiz retired from the U.S. Army in 2006. Since then he has leveraged a military career in information technology and an entrepreneurial spirit as owner and CEO of Advanced IT Concepts, Inc., which provides IT consulting services and value added resale of computer hardware and peripherals to both the government and private sectors, into a fast growing small business.

Blending his military, consulting and corporate experiences, Mr. Ruiz and his wife Sandra founded AITC, Inc. in 2010; AITC, Inc. is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and has also earned certification as an SBA 8(a) Minority-Owned Business.

It was in late 2011 that Mr. Ruiz decided to seize the opportunities that he saw for the company and embarked on a mission to accelerate AITC’s growth. It was then that he turned to the FSBDC at UCF, in particular its Growth Acceleration Services and its Advisory Board Council program.

Since that time, under his leadership the company has grown dramatically from 13 employees and revenues of $4.4 in 2013 to 31 employees and $14.7 million in 2106. That translates to an extraordinary growth rate of 169% between 2013 and 2016, making AITC one of Florida’s fastest growing companies.

It was on the strength of AITC’s extraordinary 2016 results – both as a business and as a member of the community –that Mr. Ruiz won recognition as the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for the North Florida District. Revenues grew from $6.3 million in 2015 to $14.7 million in 2016. The company won huge multi-year government contracts, including a 5-year, $45 million U.S. Army contract, a 5-year, $70 million medical simulation contract and additional multi-year contracts totaling approximately $15 million.

In the community, Mr. Ruiz and the entire AITC team support and participate in numerous important causes, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Wounded Warriors, Nemours Children’s Hospital and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida. And the success of the customers being served by Mr. Ruiz and AITC is imperative to the safety and welfare of our country, including supporting the U.S. Army, Air Force, Veterans Administration and Department of Interior.

Mr. Ruiz generously credits the FSBDC with assisting him in accomplishing this remarkable growth. In his own words: “The FSBDC at UCF has been a true and invaluable partner to AITC. From our first meeting with Growth Acceleration Services consultant Roger Greenwald who showed a true caring attitude and superb business knowledge, we have received expert advice in areas such as Marketing, Business Development, Budgeting and Forecasting, Operational Effectiveness and more.”

“Additionally, the FSBDC at UCF has facilitated AITC’s participation in the FSBDC’s Advisory Board Council program,” Mr. Ruiz continued. “The ABC provided a team of senior business experts that contributed guidance in all business areas. Today, we are a much improved, stronger and better positioned company due in great part to the outstanding support and guidance provided by the FSBDC at UCF.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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

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

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

Sheryl Page, Page One Consulting

Page One Consulting CEO Sheryl Page Named 2017 SBA Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year

Capitalizes on Growth Challenges with Assistance from the FSBDC at UCF

Friday May12, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL –    The “great recession” had a devastating impact on the construction industry and businesses like Page One Consulting, Inc. (POC) that serve the industry.

An engineering consulting firm, Page One specializes in providing construction inspection and testing services as well as owner’s representative services, primarily to State and local government agencies. The company provides services to an array of distinguished clients that include the Florida Department of Transportation, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, and Florida Turnpike as well as several government agencies in Central Florida including Orange County Public Schools.

Under the dedicated leadership of Founder/Owner/CEO Sheryl Page, during the recession and since then the company committed itself to maintaining long-standing customer relationships, new business development and superior service delivery during the difficult years. The company invested much of its net worth in keeping as many of the core employees on payroll and maintaining relationships with those lost through attrition. These steps served to position the company for optimum participation in the eventual economic recovery.

It is based on the remarkable success she and her company have achieved in the face of these and general market challenges, combined with extensive and significant personal and company contributions to the community, that have earned her recognition as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2017 Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Florida and the SBA’s North Florida District.

In 2012, Ms. Page set about to drive POC’s growth and began working with consultant Roger Greenwald of the Florida SBDC at UCF. As part of the FSBDC’s Growth Acceleration Services, an evaluation of many sides of the business was conducted, including cash flow budgeting and management, marketing communications, organizational structure and capital requirements and access, followed by taking the necessary steps to optimize performance in each of these areas.

Significant dividends began to appear in 2013 from the work Page One Consulting and the FSBDC had undertaken with sales growing 32% over the prior year. And the momentum has continued. Under Ms. Page’s leadership the company has grown from $2.3 million in sales with less than 30 employees in 2013 to sales of $6.2 million and 60 employees at the close of fiscal year 2016. These results equate to a remarkable revenue growth rate of 162% from 2013 to 2016.

One of Page One Consultant’s 2016 business highlights is its winning a prime consultant role as the Owners Authorized representative on the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s 1.8 billion South Terminal-C Phase I project. Other noteworthy projects underway at POC are work on the I-4 Ultimate roadway reconstruction, the Wekiva Parkway roadway extension, building of the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

Among many community service activities, Page One has partnered with Career Source of Central Florida to train, certify and hire nine (9) unemployed or under-employed local individuals into full-time skilled positions with the company.

In Ms. Page’s own words, “We are fortunate to have a growing business, but the challenges that come with growth are sometimes enormous. It is so nice to have someone who understands what small businesses are going through. Roger Greenwald with the FSBDC at UCF is that special person who understands the dynamics of growth and how to handle them. There are so many issues that arise daily; it’s nice to know someone who has been there and can provide suggestions on how to put them in perspective and handle them.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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

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

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

FSBDC, DSC, John Walsh, The Observer

Palm Coast and Ormond Beach Community Newspapers Growing With Assistance from FSBDC at Daytona State

FSBDC at UCF’s Daytona State College Sub-center and Its
CEO XChange Program Contributing to Local Publisher’s Success

May 8, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – ‘Disruptive innovation’ is a watch word of the technology world, describing the strategic underpinning of some of today’s truly remarkable 21st century businesses, companies like Uber and Airbnb. One doesn’t often apply the concept to newspaper publishing, especially because it’s an industry whose obituary seems to be written daily.

But that’s not the way John Walsh, publisher and an owner of the Palm Coast and Ormond Beach Community Newspapers, saw it. He saw an opportunity in community news: doing hyper-local reporting in targeted communities built on an advertiser-supported business model. “Our mission is to provide our communities with extraordinary local content while helping our partners prosper,” Walsh says.

And apparently it’s ‘mission accomplished’.  Started in 2010, the Observer had a successful launch, was profitable within 3 months and saw revenues on a steep growth curve. There was one problem, however. Walsh noticed that despite an increasing top line, bottom line profitability wasn’t growing. “We weren’t making the money we should have been,” Walsh recalls. “I wanted to know what we were doing wrong and what we were doing right so I could correct that situation.”

That’s when John Walsh turned to the CEO XChange program at the Florida SBDC at Daytona State College, a sub-center of the FSBDC at UCF, and the Center Director and FSBDC consultant George Tewari. The CEO XChange is a facilitated peer-to-peer executive roundtable program serving business leaders and owners that offers a confidential setting to discuss the challenges, threats and opportunities they face as managers and leaders. It enables a group of chief executives to collaborate and work through the issues they all face running small and medium-sized businesses.

“I have had previous good experiences in forums like the CEO XChange, but this one is the best yet,” states Walsh. “I really believe in the value of sharing best practices, learning from others who are smarter than I am, then setting goals and being held accountable for them by those same CEOs. I’ve learned that process trumps talent (mine anyway) and the CEO XChange really helped me direct my focus and implement new processes and procedures. And that has changed my business for the better.”

“Thanks to the CEO XChange and my colleagues there, combined with the consulting support of George Tewari from the FSBDC, we have seen our profitability grow to the industry standard,” Walsh continued. “More importantly, our margins have increased 30 – 40%. Revenues have been growing while at the same time expenses have been managed down. It can all be credited to the FSBDC and CEO XChange.”

“I’d say to any business owner considering the CEO XChange: ‘It takes some guts to participate but it’s worth it. Managing yourself is one thing. But being held accountable to 12 – 13 other business owners – all who are in the same boat you are – holds you to a different level, to a higher standard. I encourage anyone who’s interested in improving their business to join the CEO XChange.”

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

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

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

About the FSBDC Network

The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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

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

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