FSBDC at UCF to Honor Clients and Community Partners and Advocates as U.S. Small Business Administration Award Winners
Orlando, FL – In recognition of the significant contributions to a healthy economy made by the entrepreneurs and small business owners of Central Florida and the nation, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is celebrating the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) National Small Business Week with a luncheon and awards ceremony honoring local SBA award winners.
The FSBDC at UCF’s National Small Business Week celebration will occur on Thursday, May 18th at the 2023 Small Business Awards Luncheon, which will be held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. The luncheon will feature remarks by representatives from the Florida SBDC and the U.S. Small Business Administration who will present the following awards to the local FSBDC at UCF and state and district SBA awards recipients in attendance:
2023 North Florida District and State of Florida Woman Business Owner of the Year
Ms. Tonya Oxford, Owner and CEO, Global Technology Integrators LLC (Orlando, Florida)
2023 North Florida District and State of Florida Minority Business Owner of the Year
Mr. Rick Castillo, President and Founder, Castillo Engineering (Maitland, Florida)
2023 North Florida District and State of Florida Community Partner of the Year
Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses
Accepted by Mr. Stuart Smith, Chief Executive Officer (Orlando, Florida)
2023 North Florida District, State of Florida, and Region IV 8(a) Graduate of the Year
Mr. Gabriel Ruiz, LTC USA (R), President/Founder, Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. (Winter Springs, Florida)
2023 FSBDC at UCF Regional Volunteer of the Year
Mr. Matthew Carson, Chief Revenue Officer, Voltron Global
“It gives the FSBDC at UCF great pleasure to honor our valued clients Ms. Tonya Oxford, Owner and CEO, Global Technology Integrators LLC (Orlando, Florida) and Mr. Gabriel Ruiz, LTC USA (R), President/Founder, Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. (Winter Springs, Florida) as U.S. Small Business Administration Award winners during its Small Business Week,” affirmed Eunice Choi, Regional Director of the Florida SBDC at UCF.
“We are also indeed pleased to congratulate and applaud Mr. Rick Castillo, President and Founder, Castillo Engineering (Maitland, Florida) as 2023 North Florida District and State of Florida Minority Business Owner of the Year. Finally, we take great pride in recognizing the Florida Association of Veteran Owned Businesses [to be accepted by Mr. Stuart Smith, Chief Executive Officer (Orlando, Florida)] as the 2023 North Florida District and State of Florida Community Partner of the Year and Mr. Matthew Carson, Chief Revenue Officer, Voltron Global as the 2023 FSBDC at UCF Regional Volunteer of the Year.
“Global Technology Integrators LLC and Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. are outstanding examples of small business success stories, each one built upon the vision, energy and determination of their entrepreneurial founders,” shared Choi. “The FSBDC at UCF works to provide consulting, business training, and access to market research that allows companies like these to excel. We are gratified to have assisted them in their achievement in some small way,” Choi continued.
“Florida’s 2.8 million small business owners work tirelessly every day to launch and grow their businesses, and the Florida SBDC Network is proud to stand alongside them to help make their dreams a reality,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network. “We are proud to be able to celebrate the success of some of our highest achievers and acknowledge all that our small businesses do to help make Florida the best state in the nation to work, live and play.”
National Small Business Week is proclaimed by the President of the United States to recognize the critical contributions made by America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs to our economy. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
During National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration highlights the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st Century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness. This year’s week-long celebration runs from April 30 to May 6 with events being held in multiple cities from coast-to-coast throughout the month of May that are designed to help small businesses start, grow, and succeed.
— 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
FSBDC at UCF Celebrates Small Business Week
May 2, 2023
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.