January 2, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, SBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, FL – Christine Belz, like many entrepreneurs, identified an underserved market and she wanted to be the one to create the business that would meet its needs. Her challenge was that she had never run her own business, and certainly hadn’t started one from scratch.
Christine had worked in the health care industry and had an extensive background in nursing and healthcare administration. Christine also had a severely disabled child and realized there was a significant need for daycare for her child and for others with similar disabilities. This need led to extensive research and her ultimate desire to open a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Facility.
Looking for assistance with realizing her vision, Christine first came to the Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) sub-center at Daytona State College (FSBDC at DSC) in August of 2012. She had been referred by SCORE and the local Chamber of Commerce for assistance with the business startup process, the completion of her business plan and the financing her project. Van Canada, the FSBDC at DSC consultant that worked with Christine by supplying no-cost, one-on-one counseling and advice, recognized Christine’s business potential immediately, and said at the time, “When I first met Christine, it became obvious that her background, personal situation, passion and dedication were going to make this project successful.”
Van worked with Christine on completing her business plan and developing financial projections. Christine was working with her own bank and the FSBDC at DSC’s Canada also contacted several banks, all of which were interested in funding her business. Working together, loan packages were submitted, offers were reviewed, a bank was selected and “Loads of Smiles, LLC” was born.
Christine opened in early 2013 with incredible success. She says that the FSBDC at DSC played a critical role in developing Loads of Smiles, LLC. “Mr. Canada was instrumental in the development of our business plan and guiding us in arranging financial assistance,” she said. She further expressed that she is fortunate to now be able to consider expanding Loads of Smiles and looks forward to working with the FSBDC in their future expansions.
Thanks to Christine’s passion, dedication and drive, and to the FSBDC at DSC’s guidance, Loads of Smiles, LLC is meeting the needs of an important market. Her original facility is at capacity and she is now working on a second facility in Flagler County.
— 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 Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida Small Business Development Center 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 2012, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 6500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 9,961 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.3 billion in sales growth; $50.4 million in capital formation; $104.6 million in government contract awards; and 108 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
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 2012, the Florida SBDCs served approximately 38,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 47,845 jobs created, retained and saved; $6.3 billion in sales growth; $235.2 million in capital accessed; $588.4 million in government contract awards; and 744 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in the FSBDC programing 2012, $40 was returned to the state in tax revenue.
The FSBDC at UCF and the FSBDC Network are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.