Florida SBDC

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock Awards to be held March 28th in celebration of National Women’s History Month

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock Awards to be held March 28th in celebration of National Women’s History Month  

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) has partnered with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business and presenting sponsor PNC Bank to host the Inaugural Women Who Rock Awards of the Treasure Coast on March 28th in honor of National Woman’s History Month.

“The Florida SBDC at Indian River State College is excited to partner with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center to elevate the profile of successful women in business and recognize the economic impact they have on our community,” said Katherine Culhane Associate Director of the SBDC at IRSC.

“As presenting sponsor, PNC Bank is thrilled to join forces with these important institutions to recognize dynamic women in this community,” said Tracy Sorzano, senior vice president and wealth strategy regional manager, centralized planning for PNC Private Bank. “This event is closely aligned with PNC’s commitment to supporting women business owners and further empowering women in business. The awards are designed to achieve exactly that, and my PNC colleagues and I look forward to celebrating the Women Who Rock.”

Nominees will be recognized Tuesday, March 28th, at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997.  The event takes place from 11:00am-1:00pm.

 Kathryn Rudloff, Executive Director of weVENTURE WBC notes that her organization has hosted the Women Who Rock Awards in Brevard County for the last 14 years. “We are so excited to partner with the SBDC and PNC Bank to bring this popular event to the Treasure Coast,“ Rudloff stated.

The 2023 Women Who Rock Awards categories are:

  • Small Business Owner of the Year, Presented by PNC Bank

  • Executive of the Year

  • Excellence in Mentorship, Presented by SBDC at IRSC

  • Women Trending in Tech, Presented by weVENTURE WBC

  • Excellence in Caregiving

The IRSC SBDC team of business advisors will select recipients for this inaugural Treasure Coast event.  Award recipients will be announced in February and honored at the luncheon.  For more information call (321) 674-7007 or email [email protected]

Sponsorships are available and include tickets to the event.  General Admission tickets to attend the luncheon are $50 and are available for purchase online.  All proceeds benefit community programs to support entrepreneurs via weVENTURE WBC and the SBDC at IRSC. Please visit https://weventure.fit.edu/events/women-who-rock-awards/.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

About weVENTURE WBC


weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) was launched in 2007 at Florida Tech, accelerates growth for entrepreneurs by providing customized coaching, business education, mentorship, and networking programs. weVENTURE WBC also strives to be the leading voice and resource for professional women across all industries, providing leadership development and purposeful networking events for women on the Space and Treasure Coasts. weVENTURE WBC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, or to register for weVENTURE WBC courses and mentorship programs, visit https://weventure.fit.edu/ or call 321-674-7007.

About Florida Institute of Technology


Florida Tech was founded in 1958 at the dawn of the Space Race that would soon define the Atlantic coast of Florida and captivate the nation. Now the premier private technological university in the Southeast, Florida Tech is a Tier 1 Best National University in U.S. News & World Report and one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Florida Tech is ranked among the top 5 percent of 20,000 degree-granting institutions worldwide in the 2020-21 World University Rankings and has been named a Top College and Best Value University for 2019 by Forbes. Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in aeronautics and aviation, engineering, computing and cybersecurity, business, science and mathematics, psychology, education and communication. Learn more about our relentless pursuit of greatness at floridatech.edu.

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 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 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.

 

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

Dec. 29, 2022|

Florida SBDC IRSC teaches how to become a bankable business

Florida SBDC IRSC teaches how to become a bankable business

 

 

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) in collaboration with the Florida Bankers Association will conduct and host the How to Become a Bankable Business seminar.  The event will take place on the IRSC Massey Campus Kight Center For Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Capital is critical for entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. A regionally healthy small business community is essential for sustainable economic development and neighborhood revitalization. Entrepreneurs need access to capital, networks and guidance as they grow. Access to capital supports the region’s recruitment of new business ventures, while also providing existing operators the environment to expand operations, which creates new employment opportunities. Frequently, worthwhile projects with great economic potential never move beyond the planning stage due to the inability to access needed capital.

In this seminar business owners will learn from the top banks in the community, get questions answered from real local lenders, and network with other business owners, bankers, and more.

There is no cost to attend, all interested can register via: https://form.jotform.com/222795410943156

Sponsors and speakers for this event include Marine Bank & Trust, PNC Bank, and SouthState Bank. Refreshments and networking opportunities will be available.

Hosted by Indian River State College, the Florida SBDC at IRSC provides aspiring and existing small businesses in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties with no-cost consulting, low-cost training, and access to business data and research resources.

To learn more about this event or the FSBDC at IRSC please call (772) 336-6285, or email [email protected]

 

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 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started.  With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 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.

 

 

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 10, 2022|

SBA adds central and north Florida counties to disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian

SBA adds central and north Florida counties to disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian

 

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the addition of several Florida counties to the disaster declaration for Hurricane Ian that began Sept. 23. This expands eligibility for more businesses and residents to apply for SBA’s low-interest disaster loan program. The SBA is opening a second and third Business Recovery Center, in Bonita Springs on Wednesday and in Naples on Thursday, to provide one-on-one assistance to those applying for a disaster loan.

The disaster declaration now covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia counties in Florida, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs): Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Glades, Hendry, Indian River, Marion, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Pasco and Sumter in Florida.

SBA’s Lee County Business Recovery Center (BRC) will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5 at The Hub at SWFL, Inc. in Bonita Springs. The Collier County BRC will begin operation at 11 a.m. Thursday at The Naples Players in Naples. All BRCs will remain open as indicated below until further notice:

 

 

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available as indicated above to answer questions about the disaster loan program and assist business owners in completing their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the BRCs are encouraged to wear a face mask.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed personal property.
Building back smarter and stronger can be an effective recovery tool for future disasters. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase of up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, elevation, retaining walls, and landscaping to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

Interest rates are as low as 3.04 for businesses, 1.875 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 2.188 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/ and should apply under SBA declaration # 17644.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Disaster loan information and application forms can also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services) or sending an email to [email protected]. Loan applications can also be downloaded from sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 28, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.

 

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Oct. 10, 2022|

Sunshine Kitchen partners with Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC

Sunshine Kitchen partners with Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC

 

Florida's Small Business Development Center

 

The National Restaurant Association estimates that one in three restaurants won’t survive their first year in business. To combat that static, St. Lucie County’s Sunshine Kitchen is partnering with Indian River State College’s Small Business Development Center to provide free consultation to clients at the kitchen.

Starting in October, the Small Business Development Center will have a full-time consultant located at the Sunshine Kitchen to provide advice and direction to small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs on topics such as creating marketing plans, developing new clients and navigating local, state and federal regulations. The consultant will also present group training programs on a variety of business-related topics that meet the needs of local businesses as well as conducting outreach activities to local trade groups and associations.

Located at 7550 Pruitt Research Center Road in Fort Pierce, the Sunshine Kitchen is a 10,000-square-foot commercial kitchen facility designed to offer culinary entrepreneurs the space to grow their business. For more information, visit: www.sunshinekitchenslc.com.

 

About the FSBDC at IRSC

The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) is a part of the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC Network provides tools, training, and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as “Florida’s provider of small business assistance,” the Florida SBDC Network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West to serve the needs of Florida’s business community. Since 1976, our network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The Florida SBDC Network is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida, and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

Ready to get your business started on the path to success? Contact your local Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC!
[email protected] | (772) 336-6285 | www.irscbiz.com

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 9, 2022|

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock awards

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock awards

To be held Oct. 11th & 13th  in celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month

 

 

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) has partnered with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business and presenting sponsor PNC Bank to host the Inaugural Women Who Rock Awards of the Treasure Coast on Oct. 11th and 13th in honor of National Woman’s Small Business Month. 

“The Florida SBDC at Indian River State College is excited to partner with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center to elevate the profile of successful women in business and recognize the economic impact they have on our community,” said Katherine Culhane Associate Director of the SBDC at IRSC. 

The community is encouraged to nominate women who live or work in Indian River, St. Lucie or Martin CountiesNominees who reside in Indian River and St. Lucie Counties will be celebrated Tuesday, Oct. 11th, 2022, at the Indian River State College, Mueller Campus, 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach, FL  32966.  Nominees from Martin County will be recognized Thursday, Oct. 13th, 2022, at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997.  Both events are luncheons, taking place 11:00am-1:00pm.  

Kathryn Rudloff, Executive Director of weVENTURE WBC notes that her organization has hosted the Women Who Rock Awards in Brevard County for the last 14 years. “We are so excited to partner with the SBDC and PNC Bank to bring this popular event to the Treasure Coast,“ Rudloff stated.  

The 2022 Women Who Rock Awards categories are:

  • Small Business Owner of the Year, Presented by PNC Bank
  • Executive of the Year, Presented by Bank of America
  • Excellence in Mentorship, Presented by SBDC at IRSC
  • Women Trending in Tech, Presented by weVENTURE WBC
  • Excellence in Caregiving

The nomination period will be open until September 9th.  After evaluating nominations to ensure they meet the award criteria, finalists from each category will be announced and celebrated in promotions during the weeks leading up to the event. One outstanding nominee from each category will be recognized as a 2022 recipient of the Women Who Rock Awards.  For more information call (321) 674-7007 or to submit your nomination, send correspondence to [email protected]

Sponsorships are available for both events and include tickets to the event.  Tickets to attend either luncheon are $50 and are available for purchase online.  All proceeds benefit weVENTURE WBC and SBDC community programing. Please visit https://weventure.fit.edu/events/women-who-rock-awards/

 

About weVENTURE WBC

weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) was launched in 2007 at Florida Tech, accelerates growth for entrepreneurs by providing customized coaching, business education, mentorship and networking programs. weVENTURE WBC also strives to be the leading voice and resource for professional women across all industries, providing leadership development and purposeful networking events for women on the Space and Treasure Coasts. weVENTURE WBC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, or to register for weVENTURE WBC courses and mentorship programs, visit https://weventure.fit.edu/ or call 321-674-7007.

About Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Tech was founded in 1958 at the dawn of the Space Race that would soon define the Atlantic coast of Florida and captivate the nation. Now the premier private technological university in the Southeast, Florida Tech is a Tier 1 Best National University in U.S. News & World Report and one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Florida Tech is ranked among the top 5 percent of 20,000 degree-granting institutions worldwide in the 2020-21 World University Rankings and has been named a Top College and Best Value University for 2019 by Forbes. Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in aeronautics and aviation, engineering, computing and cybersecurity, business, science and mathematics, psychology, education and communication. Learn more about our relentless pursuit of greatness at floridatech.edu

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 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, 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 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.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

 

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

 

Aug. 12, 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

BY NANCY DAHLBERG

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.”

INTERVIEW, SELECTION PROCESS
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.

 FINAL CULHANE THOUGHTS, TIPS

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 tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 1, 2022|

Small business owners’ concerns with inflation and lack of workers hit record low

Small business owners’ concerns with inflation and lack of workers hit record low

BY NANCY DAHLBERG

Florida's Small Business Development CenterSmall businesses are gloomy about their future, with an index of future expectations plunging to a 48-year low. The top concerns: inflation and worker shortages.

The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index stood at 93.2 in April. The net share of owners expecting better business conditions in the next six months eased one point to a record low. Five of the 10 components that make up the small business sentiment gauge fell, as fewer owners said now was a good time to expand and fewer plan to boost inventories.

About 32% of respondents said inflation is still their biggest operating challenge, up slightly from March and the highest since the fourth quarter of 1980. That share has risen in six of the last seven months, NFIB data show. Monthly surveys began in 1986.

Frank Fink

Throughout his 48-year career in finance, Frank Fink has served in numerous financial and operations management positions. He advises clients on best practices for financial, supply chain controls and contracts. As a certified profit mastery facilitator, Fink leads clients through the intensive 16-hour Small Business Development Center’s financial training program. He holds degrees and certifications from Indian River Community College, Barry and Villanova universities.

According to the survey, more owners expected business conditions to worsen over the next six months. Still, the share of owners raising average selling prices eased slightly from March’s record high.

Labor quality was the second-biggest problem and planned compensation changes are still elevated.

“Small business owners are struggling to deal with inflation pressures,” Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, stated. “The labor supply is not responding strongly to small businesses’ high wage offers and the impact of inflation has significantly disrupted business operations.”

Small businesses – nationally and locally – have had difficulty filling vacancies and don’t always have the same resources as large firms to attract new talent. While large businesses posted solid hiring gains in April, those with fewer than 50 employees saw a 120,000 drop in payrolls, the worst in two years, ADP Research Institute data showed.

“If the pandemic was not enough, now small business owners and operators are dealing with inflation, supply chain and workforce issues,” said Frank Fink, business consultant with the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College. “The good news is small business owners do not have to navigate this challenging marketplace alone.”

To Fink’s point, the Treasure Coast is home to multiple business assistance programs including the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, which provides no-cost business consulting. From in-depth financial review to strategic planning sessions or one-on-one discussions with business owners to simply discuss and generate ideas in addressing current market challenges, the SBDC and its credentialed consultants are ready to meet.

For more information on scheduling a meeting with the SBDC, please email Katie Muldoon at [email protected] or call 772.336.6285.

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 tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 1, 2022|

Florida SBDC Network urges preparation for hurricane season

Florida SBDC Network urges preparation for hurricane season

 

 

The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, urges small business owners to prepare for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins today and extends through November 30.

According to a forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2022 season is predicted to be above-normal, with a range of 14 to 21 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.

The Florida SBDC Network encourages small businesses to prepare for hurricane season by developing a disaster preparedness plan.

“With another active season predicted this year, all small businesses should take time now to develop a preparedness plan,” said Greg Britton, State Director of the Florida SBDC Network. “No storm should be taken lightly and all small business owners should prepare each year no matter the forecast.”

Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Not only is it important to protect staff, their building, data, and inventory, it is also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations following the disaster. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.

The Florida SBDC also strongly encourages businesses to back up data and ensure they have access to important files, such as tax records, legal, and financial documents.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network helps small businesses prepare and recover from disasters.

Through the network’s service offering, professionally certified business consultants can help small business owners develop comprehensive business continuity, emergency preparedness, and disaster recovery plans at no cost. Florida SBDCs also offer training on disaster preparedness, tips, and resources.

In the event of a disaster, Florida SBDC disaster specialists help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications. The network will also deploy its mobile assistance centers into communities for affected businesses to receive on-site assistance with disaster loans and other post-disaster challenges.

 

Preparedness resources:
  • For preparedness resources from the Florida SBDC Network, please visit https://floridasbdc.org/services/business-continuation/preparedness/.
  • The state’s disaster preparedness sales tax holiday extends through Friday, June 10. To learn more about the holiday and qualifying items, please click here.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.org – The state’s official source of information for individuals and businesses from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.biz - The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website to provide businesses access to critical information before, during, and after a disaster.
  • For a hurricane preparedness checklist and other resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), please click here.

For more information about the Florida SBDC Network and to find an SBDC near you, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

 

For over 45 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, our 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. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 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 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.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Jun. 5, 2022|

Center’s guidance designs contract strategy for graphics company in Stuart

Center’s guidance designs contract strategy for graphics company in Stuart

GDI President Kimberly Amsalem talks new bids with PTAC Specialist Scotty Wilson

GDI President Kimberly Amsalem, left, talks new bids with PTAC Specialist Scotty Wilson. LINDA GONZALEZ

BY KATIE MULDOON

What began as a simple inquiry regarding attracting and acquiring government contracts has quickly grown into a high-value business model for Kimberly Amsalem and her company, Graphic Designs International.

Founded in 1994, Amsalem acquired the Stuart-based company in 2019. It specializes in creating and installing high-profile and dynamic fleet graphics for first responder vehicles, including police and sheriff, ambulances, aviation units, fire trucks and private security. Amsalem has since expanded the business nationally and become certified as a Women Owned Business and Women in Business Enterprise.

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Marketing Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

Under Amsalem’s leadership, GDI has become the premier emergency responder vehicle graphics company in the United States, dedicated to assisting police departments and local municipalities in creating effective, budget-friendly graphics for their fleets.

Originally seeking to expand the organization’s sales and national presence, Amsalem contacted the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, specifically the center’s Procurement and Technical Assistance Center [PTAC] government contracting specialist, Scotty Wilson.

With assistance and guidance from Wilson, GDI has developed a national business strategy that includes the creation of a Bid Match account and profile. Bid Match is a high-value government contracting tool provided by America’s PTAC and the Florida SBDC at IRSC that pulls local, state and federal contracts together for client review and potential response.

fleet graphics for first responder vehicles

Since creating its profile, GDI has been awarded numerous contracts from first responder organizations from across the country resulting in business and revenue expansion.

Beyond winning bids, Wilson and Amsalem are working to acquire a second Women Owned Small Business Certification from the State of New York. Amsalem also is planning to hire a few more employees to enhance productivity and delivery times.

“I don’t know where I would be without Scotty; he has been my advocate. I feel like I have an assistant,” Amsalem said. “He is helping me to get in several different states and get on their approved vendor list.”

You can learn more about Graphic Designs International by visiting www.gdigraphics.com or calling 800.344.6853.

fleet graphics for first responder vehicles

Ready to grow your business? Contact your local center at [email protected] or call 336.6285.

About the FSBDC at IRSC
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College is a part of the Florida SBDC Network, which provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as the provider of small business assistance, the network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West. Since 1976, its partners have helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support and success of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators. It is funded in part by the Small Business Administration, the Defense Logistics Agency, the State of Florida and other private and public partners with the University of West Florida serving as its designated lead host institution. It is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

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 tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

Center provides multiple training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners

Center provides multiple training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners

BY KATIE MULDOON

The Florida Small Business Development Center, hosted at Indian River State College, recognizes the top priority for small business owners is to run the business. Dedicating time to attend business training and professional development education is an almost impossible task for small business owners.

However, significant benefits and opportunities can and do exist for those who participate in continuing business education. Regular participation in business training programs can provide critical and valuable information to owners seeking to grow and expand their businesses and revenues.

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Administrative & Outreach Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.  

The FSBDC at IRSC provides high-value training programs throughout the year that focus on vital business issues including social media marketing and financial management. The center also offers Start-Smart, a class for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Attending business training programs is tough — but what’s not tough about owning a small business. The question is: What would you do to potentially grow revenues and earn more profit?

Here are some of FSBDC’s training opportunities:

DIGITAL MARKETING BOOT CAMP
This three-day program is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing students, managers, and others seeking to strengthen their digital marketing presence, effectiveness and strategy. The focus will be on creating a positive digital presence on social media and establishing a digital marketing strategy. Some of the subjects to be discussed include:

Leanna Haag

Leanna Haag, FSBDC digital media consultant.

• What a buyer’s persona is and how one can be created for a service or product
• Drafting a marketing plan
• Implementing your marketing plan on social media
• Defining your target market
• Tailoring your marketing message
• Creating a call to action

Conducting the class will be Leanna Haag, an FSBDC digital media consultant. Haag, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Central Florida, has acquired years of marketing experience working for corporations to develop and execute tactical marketing plans at the regional and national level.

Haag launched her digital media company, See Level Marketing, in 2009 to assist regional businesses in managing their online presence. She has worked with all types of businesses, including local governments, to improve their search engine ranking with website development and search engine optimization, internet advertising, email marketing, online directories and development of tactical internet marketing plans. She recently accepted the digital media consultant position to help local businesses begin the recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PROFIT MASTERY
The financial management training program is the Profit Mastery course. This 16-hour course offers the participant high-level training to better understand and manage their business financials.

Partnering with multiple local lenders, the FSBDC at IRSC has scholarships to cover the $499 course cost. Business owners who attend are encouraged to include their bookkeepers, payroll execs, managers, and others who may benefit from strengthening their financial management skills.

Steve LeFever, founder and chairman of Profit, is a national leader in the development of practical financial programs and training for the independent business community. His dual role as a successful entrepreneur and as a commercial banker gives him a unique perspective on financial analysis, business management, and practical business decisions.

The programs are led by veteran business consultants possessing extensive knowledge of financial management. Consultants Frank Fink of Vero Beach, Michael Bernard of Port St. Lucie and Clifton Vaughn of Fort Pierce coordinate classes across the Treasure Coast with programs planned in every county throughout the remainder of the year.

START SMART ORIENTATION
Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners are encouraged to participate in monthly Start Smart Orientation programs. This two-hour workshop provides a fundamental overview of what it takes to start a business in Florida. It is designed for potential entrepreneurs in the pre-venture or startup phase of establishing a new business. It is the first step in your journey toward reaching your business goals with the guidance and resources that are available through the FSBDC at IRSC.

To register contact your local FSBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call 772.336.6285.

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 tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|