Crossfit, FSBDC, Palm Coast

CrossFit BearCat Unleashes Its Potential: Opens New Fitness Facility in Bunnell

FSBDC at UCF – Palm Coast Assists Local Business Win Funding

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

Michael Oppenheim, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF – Palm Coast, 386.986.4763 or Michael.Oppenheim@ucf.edu

CrossFit BearCat Unleashes Its Potential: Opens New Fitness Facility in Bunnell

Jody Prince, Michael Oppenheim, Cathy Mittelstadt

Orlando, FL – Jody Prince and Cathy Mittelstadt have a mission: to “Unleash Your Potential”. It comes from a passion for physical fitness, skills and abilities that they strive to share with their Flagler County, FL community. And this isn’t even their day job; Prince works in disaster recovery for a large insurance company and Mittelstadt manages operations for a county school district.

But it’s their passion for fitness – theirs and yours — that prompted them to become co-owners and founders of CrossFit BearCat five years ago, featuring the CrossFit fitness regimen. Built upon constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity designed to improve fitness and health, it’s not just for the top athletes who have embraced it worldwide; CrossFit works for the average individual looking to become healthier in a short time.

CrossFit BearCat built a loyal following early on. But Prince and Mittelstadt wanted more for their members and coaches. It drove them to look for ways to improve the CrossFit workout experience they offered. “We were looking to expand, to put us in the right space,” says Prince. “We called a local community bank for help with financing. While welcoming, their first question was: ‘Do you have a business plan? And three year financial projections?’ I didn’t have either and I was stumped.”

“Fortunately, that very same banker referred us to the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) in Palm Coast,” added Cathy Mittelstadt. “And that’s where we met with Michael Oppenheim, one of the FSBDC at UCF’s consultants,” continued Prince. “I was so energized by our first meeting. He showed me so much. How to start my business plan…how to approach my 3 year projections. He gave me templates and ideas and guidance. From then on, the FSBDC was there for us and making sure we got it right every step of the way.”

“Going into this venture, it all seemed so daunting,” remarked Mittelstadt. “We wondered if we would ever get to the finish line. Having the FSBDC there to help was incredibly powerful and made so much possible.”

With assistance and coaching from their FSBDC consultant, the CrossFit BearCat co-owners prepared their business plan and developed their financial projections. “Working with the FSBDC has been phenomenal,” Prince says. “Now we better understand our forecasts and our business model, and what we need to do to sustain and grow our business so we are here for our members and coaches for a long time.”

Not surprisingly, given their determination and hard work, and some help from the FSBDC at UCF – Palm Coast, Prince and Mittelstadt and CrossFit Bearcat applied for and got their loan. They have built an exciting new facility on East Moody Boulevard in Bunnell that will enable them to better serve their current members, as well as new ones. “We did it,” concluded Mittelstadt. “The FSBDC gave us a path and the confidence to proceed. Now we have what we need to help realize our dream for CrossFit Bearcat: to “Unleash Your Potential.”

For information about CrossFit BearCat, please see www.crossfitbearcat.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (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 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

SeaDek, Hyperform, Jill McLaughlin, Jason Gardner, Serenity Gardner

FSBDC at UCF Client SeaDek Named SBA 2018 Small Business Exporter of the Year

Rockledge, FL-based Marine Products Manufacturer Recognized Nationally

April 11, 2018
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) is pleased to announce that its Brevard County client SeaDek has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2018 National Small Business Exporter of the Year, in addition to winning SBA Region IV, State of Florida and South Florida District Exporter of the Year honors.

The company, represented by Serenity Gardner, chief operating officer, and Jason Gardner, vice president of marketing, has been invited to travel to Washington, D.C. to receive their award during the 2018 National Small Business Awards events and ceremonies on April 29-30, the kickoff to the SBA’s National Small Business Week.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year it is being held from April 29-May 5. It is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. Every day they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

“We are so proud that our client SeaDek has been recognized as the SBA’s 2018 National Small Business Exporter of the Year,” said Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the FSBDC at UCF. “Building a successful small business is not easy, and to then undertake expansion into international markets is a tall order. We at the FSBDC are glad we could help, but the real credit goes to the company, its leadership and its team. They did the hard work and are tremendously deriving of this prestigious national recognition by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

As part of the National Small Business Week celebrations, the FSBDC at UCF will host its 2018 Small Business Awards Luncheon and awards ceremony on May 15th at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando to recognize

SeaDek as 2018 National Small Business Exporter of the Year as well as its regional Florida SBDC Volunteer of the Year.

For information about SeaDek, please see http://www.seadek.com/.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (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 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

Common Sense Office Furniture, Hospitality, Education, Office, Medical, Small business, FSBDC, Orlando, Orange County, Florida

Common Sense Office Furniture: FSBDC at UCF’s SBDC Day “Company of the Year”

March 21, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – Craig Caswell and the company he founded and has built into a Central Florida success story – Common Sense Office Furniture — exemplify the best of what it means to be an entrepreneur and small business owner. And this is a special time for Caswell as he celebrates Common Sense’s 20th Anniversary in business.

Common Sense Office Furniture: FSBDC at UCF’s SBDC Day “Company of the Year”

Owner of Common Sense Office Furniture Craig Caswell with FSBDC Consultant Hal Thayer (L-R)

Success as a small business like that deserves special recognition. And so it is that the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) has chosen Caswell and Common Sense Office Furniture as its SBDC Day Company of the Year.  Wednesday March 21, 2018 is the second annual SBDC Day, a national movement to help raise awareness about the service offerings and impact of America’s SBDCs –- the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest business assistance program.

“For entrepreneurs considering working with the Florida SBDC, I’d say ‘do it faster than I did,” Caswell remarked. “The sooner you can get in and learn the lessons that the FSBDC can teach you, from their services and programs, their consulting and in their classrooms, the sooner you’ll be on firm footing. Their assistance can make a huge difference.”

Like many small business founders, Caswell started his business on his own and grew it on the strength of his determination and skills. But as the business became larger, new, unfamiliar challenges arose. “Fifteen years ago, the business was growing but I was faced with a whole new set of business requirements and needs that I was unfamiliar with, issues like worker’s compensation, warehousing, delivery vehicle investments,” Caswell says. “Help from the FSBDC was the logical solution. They gave me the answers I needed.”

“Once I started working with the FSBDC, my eyes were opened and I understood that for me to continue to grow this business, I couldn’t do it alone, that there were lots of things to consider, to plan for, to prepare for. The Florida SBDC helped me with that, and with recognizing how important it is to share the glory with the people who helped you make it happen because you certainly didn’t do it alone” Caswell went on. “It’s why we have profit sharing and a 401(k) matching program for our employees, because they are the ones who make it happen every day.”

Caswell will tell you that he “took advantage of virtually every service at the FSBDC I could,” starting with its Advisory Board Council program. The Advisory Board Council is a next-level, business support service, assisting established Central Florida businesses by matching them with experienced professionals with a diverse range of skills who work together on a “custom-fit” advisory board.

“My Advisory Board was invaluable,” Caswell states. “The volunteers on my Board were amazing. The FSBDC did a great job matching their background and skills with my company’s needs. Their assistance and insights changed my business.”

A second Florida SBDC service Caswell says has been beneficial is the FSBDC’s CEO XChange, an executive roundtable program that offers a confidential setting for top executives to discuss vital business issues, opportunities and trends with a group of peers. “The CEO XChange has been great,” Caswell claims. “You think you are out there alone, that your problems are uniquely yours. Then you sit down with other business owners at the CEO XChange who have had the same issues and you get ideas, solutions and support. It’s a confidence builder.”

When callers reach out to the company, the response is apt: “Thank you for using Common Sense. How can we help you?” And using common sense is what their clients have been doing. From being located in a modest warehouse, Common Sense Office Furniture has grown into a fabulous showroom downtown. From a handful of employees 20 years ago, the company has grown to more than 20. And from revenues in the thousands, Common Sense has become a multi-million dollar enterprise.

“It’s great knowing that the Florida SBDC at UCF is there to help. I’m pleased to be part of SBDC Day and to be the FSBDC at UCF’s SBDC Day Company of the Year. It’s too bad that the services of the FSBDC aren’t better known. Like me and my company, a lot of businesses could benefit from working with them” Caswell 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

FSBDC at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Florida SBDC at UCF to Celebrate National SBDC Day March 21

Focuses Attention on SBDC’s Small Business Services and Economic Impact

March 20, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Orlando, FL – The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) will celebrate the second annual SBDC Day Wednesday, March 21, 2018. SBDC Day is a national movement to help raise awareness about the service offering and impact of America’s SBDCs – the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest business assistance program.

With more than 1,000 centers across the country, SBDCs provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. SBDCs help entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and help existing businesses remain competitive in a complex, ever-changing global marketplace.

In 2016, America’s SBDCs provided 1.24 million hours of consulting to 188,602 client businesses, resulting in 96,095 jobs created; $6.4 billion in sales growth; $5.16 billion in capital investments; and 17,174 new businesses started.

“It’s great to see SBDCs, their clients and supporters come together to celebrate SBDCs and their amazing clients. With SBDC support small businesses around the country raised over $5 billion in capital and created nearly 100,000 jobs,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC.

The Florida SBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network of more than 40 centers hosted by the state’s leading universities, colleges, and economic development organizations.

Hosted by the University of Central Florida, the Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses in Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources. In addition to its core service offering, the Florida SBDC at UCF also offers specialized services to qualifying companies, including capital access, market growth, government contracting, international trade, business continuation, cybersecurity, disaster planning and recovery, and more.

For 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, the FSBDC at UCF contributed materially to the economic health of Central Florida, including assisting in the creation, retention and saving of almost 6,700 jobs; generating sales of more than $980 million; acquiring government contracts worth more than $154 million; accessing investment capital of almost $93 million; and starting 120 new businesses.

“SBDC Day is a great opportunity to demonstrate the contribution that the FSBDC at UCF and all SBDC’s make to the economic health and wellbeing of our communities,” remarked Eunice Choi, Regional Director at the FSBDC at UCF. “We are proud to serve the entrepreneurs and business owners of Central Florida, and to help our region prosper.”

“Too often SBDCs are referred to as the ‘best kept secret’,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “SBDC Day represents a prime opportunity to celebrate our clients and raise awareness about the impact of the Florida SBDC Network and SBDCs nationally.”

— 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 at UCF, University of Central Florida, Small Business Assistance

Florida SBDC Network Client Honored on Capitol Hill

Orlando-based Dignitas Technologies Recognized Among Select Clients Nationwide at National Showcase Reception

Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, is pleased to announce that Dignitas Technologies, an Orlando-based modeling and simulation company led by President and CEO Elizabeth Burch and client of the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF), was recently recognized among select SBDC clients from across the country at a special reception on Capitol Hill. America’s SBDC, the association representing SBDCs nationally, SBDC leaders, consultants, clients, partners and stakeholders gathered for the fourth annual 2018 Client Showcase and Reception on Tuesday, February 13th. Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business, and Representative Nydia Velazquez of New York and Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business addressed the reception guests. Dignitas Technologies was one of 11 clients from across the country recognized at the event.

Florida SBDC Network Client Honored on Capitol Hill

L-R: Michael Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network; U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy; and Elizabeth and Bob Burch at the 2018 Client Showcase and Reception

Founded in 2004, Dignitas Technologies is a certified woman-owned small business that provides support to the Modeling, Simulation, and Training industry across a diverse customer set. The company conducts cutting-edge research and develops innovative technology to build systems to train soldiers before they are deployed. These risk-free simulations save government resources and better prepare soldiers to face combat situations through synthetic training environments.

After purchasing the majority ownership of the company in 2010, Burch took steps to accelerate the company’s growth. She sought help from the Florida SBDC and its Advisory Board Council, a special program of the Florida SBDC at UCF, which pairs clients with an advisory board to address the company’s needs.

“The Advisory Board Council represents knowledgeable business resources that provided us with invaluableexperience and guidance for our company,” said Burch. “This has greatly aided our business because the Advisory Board enabled us to formalize our goals and then assisted us in developing plans to achieve those goals. Their support and guidance has helped mature our business and make it more resilient in our tough budget environment.”

 When Dignitas Technologies became a client of the Florida SBDC at UCF in 2011, the firm had a staff of 30 employees and annual revenue of $4.5 million. Under Burch’s leadership and with assistance from the Florida SBDC at UCF, Dignitas Technologies has grown to 135 employees and $16 million in revenue in 2017.

In honor of her accomplishments, Burch was named the State of Florida Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year in 2013 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2016, the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ)featured the company as a Fast 50 honoree and named them one of Central Florida’s Largest Minority-Owned Businesses. Dignitas won the Association for Corporate Growth’s SMART Award for Technology & Simulation in 2017 and was selected by the OBJ as an Innovations in Technology Award honoree and Best Places to Work finalist.  Dignitas was honored by Military Training Technology for six years in a row as one of their Top Simulation and Training Companies.

With nearly 1,000 centers across the country, SBDCs provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories. Job growth for SBDC clients nationally is nearly 10 times greater than job growth for average businesses, and SBDC clients’ sales growth is nearly four times greater than sales growth for businesses in general.

Unlimited Employee Benefit Center (UEBSC); FSBDC; Seminole State College; Cedric Lancaster, Moses Ayiku

New-to-Area Company Benefits from Aid by Florida SBDC at Seminole State College

Unlimited Employee Benefit Service Center (UEBSC) Growing After Relocation to Central Florida

January 30, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 

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

Moses Ayiku, Sub-Center Manager, FSBDC at SSC, 407.321.3495 or ayikum@seminolestate.edu

Orlando, FL – In addition to assisting existing local small-to-medium sized businesses, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) works with new-to-the-area companies seeking to establish themselves in our region. Unlimited Employee Benefit Services Center (UEBSC) is one of those companies. After relocating from Mississippi in 2016 and incorporating in Florida in early 2017, it has taken advantage of the support and resources offered by the FSBDC at Seminole State College (FSBDC at SSC), an FSBDC at UCF sub-center.

UEBSC specializes in providing retirement and health & wellness guidance to federal and state employees. Their motto: We Inform, Help and Direct. It is a premier national marketing organization representing a large group of top-rated companies in the financial and insurance industries and features professional, highly qualified Benefits Counselors from all over the country. UEBSC recently extended its services by offering Employer Health & Wellness Benefits programs.

“We were new in town,” recalls Cedric Lancaster, founder and CEO of Unlimited Employee Benefit Service Center. “We connected with the consultant and sub-center manager at the FSBDC at SSC Moses Aikyu. It has been a wonderful relationship.”

“With the FSBDC’s help, we have identified ways to become known in this area and built a game plan to get our business on the right track,” Lancaster continued. “Now we have the right strategies to take our business to the next level.”

In addition to benefiting from the FSBDC’s no-cost, expert business consulting, UEBSC has received significant support in the area of market research. By accessing the broad and deep information databases available from the FSBDC, UEBSC has been able to identify new business prospects and opportunities. And they’ve connected with multiple resource partners, including various Chambers of Commerce and other community groups.

They have also utilized the seminars and training available from the FSBDC, some of which guided UEBSC in becoming verified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) by the U.S. Small Business Administration, a designation that can be useful in winning government contracts.

“As a small business, we know that our success is tied directly to the effort we put into the business,” Lancaster remarked. “By combining our work ethic with the resources of the FSBDC, we have been able to grow. It is great to know we have someone there if we need assistance. And the FSBDC has been there for us every step of the way.”

And grow UEBSC has. Since arriving in Central Florida, it has created 19 jobs, invested more than $120,000 in the local economy and generated more than $1.5 million in sales. It is working with multiple federal, state and local governmental agencies, as well as a growing number of local businesses gained from their Health & Wellness services.

“Coming to Central Florida was the right choice for UEBSC. And choosing to work with the FSBDC was the right decision,” concluded Lancaster. “It’s the small things that make the big things happen. From the beginning, the FSBDC was willing to do whatever they could to help us. We’re glad to be working with them. They have been a vital part of our success.”

For more information about Unlimited Employee Benefit Service Center, please visit www.thinkuebsc.org.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (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

SeaDek, Hyperform, Jill McLaughlin, Jason Gardner, Serenity Gardner

Hyperform Inc. Growing Internationally With Assistance from FSBDC at UCF

Rockledge, FL Manufacturer of SeaDek Marine Products Implementing Export Marketing Plan for Strong Results 

January 23, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

              Jill McLaughlin, International Trade Specialist, FSBDC at UCF, 407.480-4850 or Jill.McLaughlin@ucf.edu

Orlando, FL – Hyperform Inc. is an All-American success story. What started out as a maker of products for the surfing industry like surfboard fins and traction pads has transformed itself into a hugely successful manufacturer supplying, as its primary business, the marine industry with innovative, functional, and aesthetically pleasing PE/EVA non-skid decking products.

PE/EVA (Polyethylene/Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) is a closed-cell blended foam material that is soft yet durable, and SeaDek has developed a unique formula that is resistant to UV rays and the harsh conditions of the marine environment. Hyperform utilizes PE/EVA as decking (and a variety of other applications) in its SeaDek Marine Products line, its SwimDek aquatic surfaces line for the pool and spa market, and coming soon, the EndeavourDek line for automotive, off road, and multiple other applications. All are alternatives to fiberglass molded-in non-skid, painted-on textures, and other traction products currently available.

Hyperform benefits from a strong group of seven principal owners and a dedicated workforce. At the helm guiding the company through its dramatic growth and playing key roles among the principals are President Kurt Wilson, Chief Operating Officer Serenity Gardner, Vice President of Marketing Jason Gardner, and Vice President of Sales Chuck Yates. In 2015, the principals of SeaDek extended ownership to over eighty full-time employees through the implementation of an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP). It’s that team that’s making success happen at the company, say the Gardners.

As unprecedented consumer acceptance throughout the United States placed the company on the forefront of the marine decking industry, word spread overseas. “There was definite demand in the international marketplace,” Serenity Gardner recalls. “We decided we wanted assistance from an outside organization rather than taking a reactionary approach and working with whichever customer came to us.”

Hyperform turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and its International Trade Services consultant Jill McLaughlin for assistance. The company applied for and was accepted into the FSBDC’s Export Marketing Plan service. Provided in partnership with Enterprise Florida and the U.S. Commercial Service, the program is focused on assisting qualified new-to-export manufacturers and service providers with overseas growth strategies through the development of customized Export Marketing Plans. These customized Export Marketing Plans provide comprehensive industry and market analyses, with target market recommendations and country specific market entry strategies.

“Thanks to the Export Marketing Plan,” Serenity Gardner remarked, “we didn’t take a shotgun approach. We looked at markets one-by-one and decided which areas we wanted to target and which ones we didn’t. It allowed us to go into new markets with a good plan and a strong understanding of what we would be dealing with.”

“Working with the FSBDC couldn’t have been easier,” continued Jason Gardner. “Communication was great. It was a positive experience across the board.”

“It’s interesting to look back now at the decisions we made with the help of the report and see that we were really pretty successful,” Serenity Gardner concluded. “Even with taking a measured approach, in just the past year and a half our export revenues have climbed from 1 – 2 % to over 10% now. We’ve gone from being in one country to more than 15 today. If you’re contemplating selling internationally, you absolutely want to use the FSBDC and get an Export Marketing Plan. It’s a really valuable resource.”

For more information about Hyperform Inc., please visit its website at http://www.hyperforminc.com.

— FSBDC —

About the FSBDC at UCF

With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (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