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Total Truck Parts breaks ground for new PSL location

Construction has begun on a 47,000- square foot building for Total Truck Parts’ largest facility. After an almost two-year search, the employee-owned company with six locations in central and South Florida selected a 6-acre site in Midway Business Park to build...
Mar. 24, 2023|

Indian River Bikram Yoga

Indian River Bikram Yoga celebrating one-year anniversary at its new location at Seaway Plaza on the corner of North U.S. Highway 1 and Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce after spending the previous five years in Vero Beach.
Mar. 24, 2023|

Completion of commerce center rolling along

The Interstate Commerce Center, under construction at 3800 Crossroads Parkway in the Crossroads Park of Commerce, has 1,300 feet of clear Interstate 95 frontage and is in St. Lucie County at the northernmost point where I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike intersect.
Mar. 24, 2023|

Deep roots

While many of its competitors were felled by the extremely challenging business environment of the Florida citrus industry in the past 15 years or so, Bernard Egan & Co. remains a solid fixture.
Mar. 24, 2023|

A Rock-Solid Commitment

Working with various veterans groups, Real Stone Monuments has created memorials that recognize the ultimate sacrifice of service men and women in maintaining the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Vietnam veterans, Navy SEALS and veterans of World War II, Korea, Pearl Harbor, and recent conflicts have had memorials built in their honor.
Mar. 24, 2023|

Preserving a family’s storied legacy

When we met Greg Nelson a few months ago, we had to persuade him to let us profile the company he heads, Bernard Egan & Co., a fixture in the Florida citrus industry for more than a century.
Mar. 24, 2023|

Women mean business

Women mean business

Tom Kindred with Alice E. Lee, president/general manager of WFLM 104.5.

Tom Kindred with Alice E. Lee, president/general manager of WFLM 104.5. She is the first black owner of a regional radio station. IRSC


In the world of small business, October holds special meaning because it is National Women’s Small Business Month. It is in October when the business community celebrates and recognizes the 12.3 million [and growing] women-owned businesses.

There is good reason to highlight and celebrate these businesses because they generate $1.9 trillion in revenue and employ nearly 9 million people. Like all small business operations, women-owned small businesses support local nonprofits, schools and governments through their tax dollars. Women-owned businesses appear in all marketplace segments including: service providers, STEM fields, technology, manufacturing, education, professional services and retail.

The Treasure Coast is home to many women-owned small businesses. These talented and creative business women possess incredible business acumen, which they leverage to enhance and increase the value of the Treasure Coast marketplace. Just a few examples of these Treasure Coast women-owned businesses include:

• Kimberly Amsalem – Graphic Designs International
• Yolanda Solorzano – Los Cocos Mexican Restaurant
• Darla Rose – Bella Rose Day Spa
• Amy Stapleton – Chatables
• Vanessa Freeman – Hart’s Mobility
• Alice E. Lee – Midway Broadcasting Co. – WFLM 104.5
• Julissa Mercado and Ashley Jameson – The Skin Spot
• Linda Schlitt-Gonzalez – Coldwell Banker Paradise - Ed Schlitt Realtors

These savvy businesswomen also understand the potential power and opportunity of government contracting and becoming a certified women-owned business. In 2020, women-owned small businesses were awarded $27.1 billion in prime contracts and $14.3 billion in subcontracting contracts. That is more than $41 billion in revenue for women-owned small businesses. And yes, that is billion with a B.

Scotty Wilson, the Procurement and Technical Assistance Center specialist with the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College will assist and guide a small business owner in navigating all the steps required to achieve woman-, minority-, veteran- and disabled veteran-owned status and certification. Once the small business owner has successfully obtained certification, the center will then assist the small business owner in pursuing and connecting to government contracting.

In the past three years, Wilson’s leadership, along with the assistance of the Florida SBDC at IRSC, has helped regional small businesses connect to more than $185 million in government contracts. That is real revenue generated by real Treasure Coast small business owners that brings real value to the business, the owner and the marketplace.

So, congratulations to all the Treasure Coast women-owned small businesses. October is the month to celebrate your entrepreneurial spirit, dedication, success and commitment to your business. Thank you for all you do for your families, your organization’s team and the region’s small business marketplace.

See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Oct. 12, 2022|

Home Run slugger Aaron Judge uses bats made on Treasure Coast

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees is using a Chandler Bat made in Port St. Lucie
Sep. 26, 2022|

National Science Foundation’s $2.7 million award to fund electric vehicle consortium at IRSC

National Science Foundation’s $2.7 million award to fund electric vehicle consortium at IRSC


National Science FoundationIndian River State College has received a three-year, $2,735,771 award from the National Science Foundation to establish a National Electric Vehicle Consortium to help alleviate an immediate shortage of skilled technical workers across almost every sector of the fast-growing electric vehicle industry.

The consortium will focus on manufacturing, installation, operations, maintenance, repair, vehicle conversion, safety and standards, and emerging technological advances within the EV sector.

IRSC will lead efforts that link academic, agency and industry experts across all EV disciplines, including 15 community colleges, 19 industry partners, two research universities, and NSF Advanced Technical Education Centers and projects.

Kevin Cooper, IRSC executive director of innovation and business development

Kevin Cooper, IRSC executive director of innovation and business development

“It is estimated that the 1 billion light-duty vehicles on the roads today consume one-fourth of global primary oil and contribute 10 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions,” says Kevin Cooper, IRSC executive director of innovation and business development. “A multidisciplinary National Electric Vehicle Consortium is critical to securing immediate and future needs in the nation’s EV workforce and helping address national resiliency and environmental goals.”
Workforce projections estimate that an all-EV industry will add 250,000 to 500,000 new high-paying jobs by 2030.

The consortium offers a venue for collaboration among training providers to support broad-scale outreach and community-building among educational institutions; industry, professional, trade, and regulatory associations; educators; and practicing technicians within the EV ecosystem.

It will document workforce needs, skills and competencies; collect data on academic programs and curricular resources; align academic programs and courses with the industry sector needs; and support institutions of higher education in adapting and establishing new EV programs.

“This synergistic EV consortium is designed with national solutions in mind,” Cooper continues. “It creates the first critical mass of experts focused on addressing the need for EV technicians in the U.S.”

National Electric Vehicle ConsortiumThe grant was awarded to IRSC by the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education Advanced Technological Education, which focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.

The NEVC at IRSC is scheduled to launch July 1.

See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 1, 2022|

Small businesses can offer job candidates advantages when competing with larger companies

Small businesses can offer job candidates advantages when competing with larger companies


You have the business, you have the production, but you don’t have the people to make it all happen. Is this your business?

Imagine you’ve landed a big government contract but you can’t find enough workers to execute it. Right now, the talent shortage is affecting companies globally. In the fourth quarter alone, 15 million Americans resigned their jobs. This Great Resignation trend continues, according to Katherine Culhane, a business consultant at the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College.

Katherine Culhane, Associate Director for the Florida SBDC

Katherine Culhane has an extensive career in banking, including roles in management, business development, commercial lending and private banking. She has a master’s degree in organizational learning and leadership, is a certified professional behavioral analyst and is a Society for Human Resource Management senior certified professional. With more than 25 years of banking experience, Culhane serves as the capital access specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC. Contact her for more information on this and all SBA lending programs to help your business expand, grow and succeed.

As a small or medium company, you compete with larger companies that can offer higher pay and more benefits, but don’t throw in the towel just yet.

Small businesses are attracting and retaining talent by leveraging advantages that large corporations don’t have and offering attractive lures that big companies can’t necessarily match.

Culhane explains millennials and Gen Z candidates are seeking a work-place culture and company that focuses on their well-being. In fact, according to Gallup, it is their top priority. A company with a clear mission, workplace flexibility, healthy work-life integration and a management team that is committed to employee success are also top priorities.

“If employers are not committed to some or all of these workplace issues, they will struggle to engage, recruit and hire this segment of the workforce,” said Culhane, who specializes in human resources. “The good news is small businesses can have significant advantage in implementing and creating workplaces that will appeal to the millennials and Gen Z segments.”

Leveraging these workplace advantages, a small business can potentially compete with much larger firms, who may be offering better pay and benefit packages.

Most HR professionals agree traditional acquisition and retention strategies no long apply in this marketplace. Business owners have to be more innovative and creative in their recruiting process.

Millennials pioneered the social media movement and remain connected on-line 24/7. Improving recruitment success could as simple as being more innovative in using social media channels.

“Entire hiring campaigns can be created on YouTube,” Culhane said. “A recruitment video could include employee testimonials, cover perks and benefits and most importantly highlight the company’s culture.”

State colleges, such as Indian River State College, are good sources of talent and recruiting through career events, on-campus interviews and engaging students through internships, where students can get a chance to wear many hats.

Because recruiting is expensive and time intensive, employee retention is also a critical factor for small businesses.

What can small businesses do to build an organization so workers stay?

Small businesses can invest in employee growth opportunities by providing ongoing professional development training; creating an employee feedback program with legitimate follow through; and diving deep into exit interviews. Employee retention is another area where the small business operator can compete with the larger employers.

“Make no mistake, employee satisfaction is what enhances and fosters better rates of acquisition and retention,” Culhane said. “Small business owners, please get to know the culture and brand your business represents to your customers and employees just as well as you understand your cash flow and profit margin.”

To save time, it’s a good idea to phone-screen a candidate first.

For the main interview, ask behavioral based questions, such as tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult client and how you resolved it? Or give me an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy about which you did not agree? Or tell me about a time you failed?

Make sure it is a structured interview process, with a set of standardized questions asked to all applicants.

Having a detailed job description is critical. People want to see the job, how enriching the job is and what is expected of them. And for the employer, it’s not only having a good culture but it is about finding the right candidate for the culture. You are looking to ensure that they match the organization culture and can fit in.

Always compare the candidate qualifications to the job description. Attitude is likely more important than technical abilities. Can he or she learn and grow on the job?

Once hired, onboarding of new employees in the right way is also important. People want an orientation to the company and to be introduced to colleagues. This is the time to set the right expectations of the job.


Small business owners certainly must:

• Determine how to pay fair and competitive wages
• Regularly recognize employees for hard work and good job performance
• Provide continuous performance feedback
• Allow employees to develop a sense of security; feeling undervalued is always a top reason for employees leaving
• Ensure employees experience a positive environment, so they will become brand ambassadors and promote the company
• Provide employees with regular professional development training opportunities.

See the original article in the print publication

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 1, 2022|