Growing and expanding a small business can be challenging in any economy, only more so during a pandemic. A crucial key to success for many entrepreneurs and business owners striving to reach the next level is and always has been accessing assistance and resources, preferably at no cost. Elizabeth and Juan Lugo, founders and owners of The Flooring Spot, sought the support they needed to grow their business at the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and they are grateful they did.
The Flooring Spot, with stores in Ocoee and now Winter Garden, call themselves ‘your local flooring experts since 2005’. Specializing in the sale and installation of all types of flooring material for residential and commercial customers, they are family-owned and locally operated. The Flooring Spot prides itself in offering superior customer service and highest quality installation from a team with over 50 years of combined experience, and all at competitive prices. Top that off with a total satisfaction guarantee.
“What makes us different,” says Elizabeth Lugo, “is that Juan started as a subcontractor. From his years of experience, and his hands-on background and knowledge, we are able, and are dedicated to, providing each and every customer with the very best in service, quality, value and workmanship.”
“In the beginning, I went to look for training and information about how to expand our business and make it better,” recalls Ms. Lugo. “I found what I needed at and have utilized a lot of different services from the FSBDC. Our consultant, Jairo Batista, helped us in a lot of ways. I think we became almost like friends.”
The Lugos and their company took advantage of the FSBDC’s expert, no-cost consulting; business training and workshops; and access to extensive market research databases. The FSBDC presented them with multiple opportunities for funding to survive the pandemic, with the company eventually receiving financial support in the form of a State of Florida Bridge Loan, and from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loan and later forgiveness, and an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Says Elizabeth Lugo: “The assistance they provided with capital resources and the many other things they were telling us really helped us keep our doors open and continue our business before everything started to pick up again.”
Beyond enabling The Floor Spot’s access to capital, the FSBDC has offered guidance and counsel focused on growing the company. “When we started seeking support from the FSBDC, our business was very small. We hadn’t even opened our first showroom location,” remarks Ms. Lugo. “Since then, we have come across so many different opportunities that they shared with us. From that point on and with the FSBDC’s help, our business has grown a lot. We have been able to open our new location, hire new employees, and expand our warehouse. We were able to continue to grow and get over the hump of the COVID times.”
“We have grown and continue to grow; our second store is doing great,” Ms. Lugo concludes. “All the support we have received from the FSBDC really helped us get there. It was excellent for our small business; it really gave us the push we needed.”
For information about The Flooring Spot, please visit www.theflooringspot.com.