New Owner Stephanie Caddy Acquires Palm Coast Florist With Assistance from Florida SBDC at UCF
October 5, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or HThayer@ucf.edu
Michael Oppenheim, Consultant, FSBDC at UCF, 610-662-5757 or Michael.Oppenheim@ucf.edu
Orlando, FL – Success as an entrepreneur requires many personal qualities, none more important than perseverance. When combined with determination, resilience, and a strong work ethic, what might seem to be unremitting obstacles can be overcome. For Stephanie Caddy and her quest to buy a business in Palm Coast, there were times when a purchase seemed next to impossible. Fortunately, she turned to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for guidance and achieved her dream of becoming a business owner.
Blooming Flowers & Gifts is a local florist that has been in business for 17 years at European Village, a one-stop-destination for all things dining, shopping, and entertainment, featuring seven eateries, multiple salons and boutique shops, six bars, and a few real estate offices. Blooming Flowers and Gifts offers a variety of flower arrangements, European dish gardens, gifts, and much more. Blooming Flowers was, in Stephanie’s opinion, a diamond in the rough with significant promise for growth, and the then owner was ready to entertain offers. Even so, Stephanie had a myriad of critical questions that needed to be addressed. What’s the market opportunity for a florist in Palm Coast and Flagler County? What’s the right price for the existing business? What kind of changes in marketing and operations would be required to realize the business’s full potential? And where could she find a bank loan to finance the acquisition? For those answers and more, Stephanie connected with the FSBDC at UCF.
“I sought out assistance from the FSBDC on the recommendation of a local banker,” as she recalls. “She told me that Palm Coast-based FSBDC consultant Michael Oppenheim was the one to contact and that he could give me guidance and help me through the process of purchasing the business.” With Oppenheim’s assistance and support, Stephanie set to work. “The services I received from the SBDC ranged from conducting a financial analysis and valuation of the current business, to developing a marketing approach, establishing myself within the community and receiving support in obtaining a loan,” Stephanie says today.
Of all the hurdles, finding a bank and moving through the application process to a successful conclusion was the most challenging. But with Oppenheim and the FSBDC by her side, after 13 months and working with five different lenders, Stephanie finally received the loan she needed. “Navigating the loan process was arduous and complex,” she states, “given that most of the banks have different requirements and paperwork submissions to qualify for their loans. The FSBDC was very helpful in getting me to the point where I was able to succeed at obtaining my loan.”
“My experience working with the FSBDC and Mike Oppenheim was amazing,” Stephanie concludes. “I would recommend to anybody looking to purchase a business to work with the FSBDC, to help them get the reports, do the analysis, find ways to build the business, to guide them through the financing. I am grateful to the FSBDC because going through the loan process was very difficult and without their assistance, I would probably have given up.” Stephanie did not back down however, and, thanks to her own and the FSBDC’s perseverance, she became the business owner she aspired to be, and now looks forward to a successful future.
For information about Blooming Flowers & Gifts, please visit https://www.bloomingflowersandgifts.com/.
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
Hosted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), and with its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of part of UCF’s Office of the President and the Florida SBDC Network.
The Florida SBDC at UCF provides aspiring and existing small businesses 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. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 9 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2021, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 2,700 entrepreneurs in Central Florida with consulting services, resulting in more than 8,200 jobs created, retained or saved; $1.5 billion in sales growth; $88.8 million in capital formation; $72.4 million in government contract awards; and 137 new businesses started. For more information, please visit www.sbdcorlando.com .
About the Florida SBDC Network
For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.
In 2021, Florida SBDCs provided 157,841 hours of professional business consulting to more than 18,379 client businesses. Based on the results from the network’s latest economic impact analysis, the FSBDC’s services resulted in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $7.4 billion in sales generated; $381.6 million in government contracts acquired; and $528.4 million in capital accessed.
A statewide network of over 40 offices, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a 2016 recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.