Southeast Florida SBDCs Reopen and Ready


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Pensacola, FL: Small businesses in Southeast Florida felt some added business pain as they were without technical assistance resources since December 2008. Significant state budget reductions resulted in Florida Atlantic University eliminating its entire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program leaving a region from Indian River County to Key West without access to business technical assistance and training services.

The southeastern-most region of the Florida SBDC Network is now operating as four separate SBDC regions with seven new offices. New partner organizations are being sought to ensure long-term sustainability of the programs in the Miami-Dade-Monroe and Broward regions. Without those financial partnerships, those counties will be without services by the end of 2009. Interim offices are now open and assisting entrepreneurs and businesses in these areas. Led by Rafael Cruz in Ft. Lauderdale, Carlos Cardenas in Miami and Greg Baumann in Key West, the SBDC offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Palm Beach Community College is now hosting the SBDC program in Palm Beach County under the direction of Jacquelyn Keeley, as well as the Procurement Technical Assistance Program in partnership with the Palm Beach County Office of Small Business Assistance.
Indian River State College is now hosting the SBDC in Ft. Pierce and rounding out services in Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee and Martin counties.

The new SBDCs can be reached as follows—:
SBDC at Indian River State College, Ft. Pierce, 772.462.7296 or 888.283.1177 ; Stuart, 772.419.5694.
SBDC at Palm Beach Community College, Boca Raton, 561.862.4726 ; PTAC office 561.862.4782
SBDC in Broward/Ft. Lauderdale, 954.762.5201
SBDC in Miami-Dade Miami and Hialeah Gardens, 305.261.1638 ; Key West, 305.809.3156
All counseling with the SBDC is provided free of charge and training events are free or a minimal charge. “Never have small businesses needed assistance more than during these recessionary times,” said Jerry Cartwright, State Director. “Certified Business Analysts at all Florida SBDCs are ready to help small businesses successfully navigate challenges with access to capital, strategies for managing their finances, strategies to increase sales and reduce costs, ways to retain assets and customers, and facilitate access to opportunities in the stimulus bill. Assistance is also available for the unemployed who yearn to be entrepreneurs.”
The Florida Legislature designated the Florida SBDC Network as the Principal Provider of Small Business Assistance in recognition of the economic impact of the SBDC network and the tremendous weight the program carries in economic development. The experts all say that the economic upturn in Florida will be from the success of small business.
Organizations interested in partnering with the Florida SBDC Network to host an SBDC program in Miami-Dade or Broward counties should contact Jerry Cartwright at 850.473.7801 or Jerry.Cartwright@FloridaSBDC.org.
The FSBDCN, a statewide service network of 34 centers, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and nationally accredited through the Association of SBDCs by Congressional mandate. For 30 plus years, the Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations and has been dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. To learn more about the Florida SBDC Network or to find an SBDC in a part of the state that is near you, visit http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102465544262&e=001ezpHMaLoCsSXWA6wo9UF5r09okBW8nFUCTQ7KnNiiv4s5jZLCzh1R49wHC_WFn62BVutyVLYNieso5feppRcsulKecHrXkidsowqMjqjVIdr1D43Ikf8BA== or call 1.866.737.7232.
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