“I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you!” Many have heard this statement in the past, mostly as a punchline, and well, many do not believe it. If your friendly IRS agent knocks at your door with this statement, you might question the definition of help.
However, I do have a surprise for you! Some programs out there from the government really do offer excellent services. Actually, there are many, but I want to introduce you to just one.
The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Florida Gulf Coast University.
The SBDC is a business client-driven organization of business professionals (consultants) dedicated to helping small businesses succeed by providing creative business solutions with a goal of exceeding our client’s expectations. The Florida SBDC Network is designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance [§ 288.001, Fla. Stat.]
The FSBDC at FGCU is a member of the Florida SBDC Network; a statewide service network that is funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, the State of Florida, the City of Cape Coral and other private and public partners and is a part of Florida Gulf Coast University.
What does that mean to you as a business owner? It means that there is a local professional network of Certified Business Consultants that are available to help you with the common, and not so common, issues related to running your business. These services are provided at no cost to you!
Some of the consultative business services offered include, but are not limited to, Market Development Plans, Business Planning, Strategic Planning, Marketing, Sales, Social Media, International Business and Exporting, Doing Business with the Government, Business Loan Assistance and much more!
In addition, for those of us in Cape Coral, the SBDC has a branch office right here for our convenience. We collaborate with many business support organizations throughout Southwest Florida, including the City of Cape Coral’s Economic Development Office.
If you would like to find out more information on how the SBDC may be able to help build your business, contact us at 239-745-3700 (Main office, FGCU) or at our Cape Coral Branch Office at 239-573-2737. You can also search our website at www.FSBDCSWFL.org