National Small Business Week Celebrated by FSBDC at UCF

Three FSBDC at UCF Clients Honored as SBA Award Winners

Florida SBDC at the University Central Florida

May 2, 2016


Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or

Orlando, FL – In recognition of the immense contribution to a healthy economy made by the entrepreneurs and small business owners of Central Florida and the nation, the Florida SBDC 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 recognizing local SBA award winners.

The FSBDC at UCF’s National Small Business Week celebration will occur on Tuesday May 19th at the 2016 Small Business Awards Luncheon, an invitation-only event being held at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando. Eunice Choi, Regional Director at the SBDC at UCF, is hosting the luncheon which will feature remarks by representatives from the Small Business Administration who will present the following awards to local state and district SBA awards recipients in attendance:

  • Woman-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
    State of Florida and North Florida District Winner
    Sarah Blake, President of Elipsis Engineering & Consulting – Winter Garden
  • Minority-Owned Small Business Person of the Year
    North Florida District Winner
    Gabriel Ruiz, LTC, USA (Ret.), President and CEO, Advanced IT Concepts, Inc. – Winter Springs

“It is a great pleasure to participate in the recognition of our valued clients by the Small Business Administration as part of its Small Business Week,” remarked Eunice Choi of the Florida SBDC at UCF. “These individuals and their companies have distinguished themselves by their hard won success, contribution to our local economy and community service.  We at the FSBDC at UCF are gratified to have assisted them in their achievements in some small way.“

“National Small Business Week is a chance to honor the more than 2.3 million small businesses in Florida who have helped drive down one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates to one of the best we enjoy today,” said Michael Myhre, Florida SBDC CEO and Network State Director. “Congratulations to this year’s Small Business Week winners. This honor serves as a testament to their hard work, efforts, and dedication to their local, regional, and state economies.”

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. This year’s week-long celebration is scheduled to run May 1-7 with events being held in multiple cities from coast-to-coast that are designed to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. The week’s events culminate in Washington, DC, where finalists for the National Small Business Person of the Year will be invited to a recognition ceremony at the White House.


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 2013, the FSBDC at UCF served more than 7,200 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 7,507 Central Florida jobs created, retained or saved; $1.0 billion in sales growth; $51.5 million in capital formation; $87.7 million in government contract awards; and 129 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 2013, the Florida SBDCs served over 34,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 39,536 jobs created, retained and saved; $5.5 billion in sales growth; $197.3 million in capital accessed; $602.2 million in government contract awards; and 685 new businesses started. And, for every $1 of Florida public and private sector investment in FSBDC programing, $35 was returned to the state in tax revenue

FSBDC at UCF | 3201 E. Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32801 | p 407.420.4850 | f 407.420.4862 |