Florida SBDC IRSC Hosts First Annual
Capital Access Regional Summit

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) in collaboration with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County have collaborated to bring the Treasure Coast region it’s first ever Access to Capital Regional Summit.  The event will take place on the IRSC Massey Campus Kight Center For Emerging Technologies in Fort Pierce on Thursday, October 7, 2021 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.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 create new employment opportunities. Frequently, worthwhile projects with great economic potential never move beyond the planning stage due to the inability to access needed capital. Impacts to businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and exposed capital access gaps within the region.

To address this issue, the Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC, the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, and the Economic Development Center of St. Lucie County plan to conduct a public conversation regarding the creation of public-private partnerships to build permanent capital access tools in our communities and are inviting local lenders, and financial institutions to join in on the conversation.

The goals of the Access to Capital Regional Summit are to:

  1. Understand and fill gaps in access to capital for Treasure Coast businesses
  2. Attract and develop funds to fill existing gaps in access to capital
  3. Broadly distribute knowledge of capital access opportunities by networking bankers, attorneys, CPAs and other business professionals

The day opens with a welcome from Indian River State College President, Dr. Tim Moore. Other speakers and summit events include a State of the Local Economy address from Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist at the Florida Chamber Foundation and a panel discussion with the region’s Economic Development Directors who will provide an economic overview of their respective communities.