Florida SBDC Network Names Senator Don Gaetz Small Business Dividend$ Award Recipient

FSBDCN State Office (Pensacola, Fla.):  The Florida SBDC Network is pleased to announce the selection of Senator Don Gaetz as the recipient of its Small Business Dividend$ Award. The Dividend$ Award, given to one legislator in recognition of efforts in support of small business, was presented on Wednesday to Senator Gaetz in Tallahassee.

Representing District 1 and serving in his tenth year with the Florida Senate, Senator Gaetz has been a long-time proponent of small business. His pro-business votes have supported legislation to lift taxes on small businesses and provide critical funding to support business resources including the Florida SBDC Network, which exists to help small businesses grow and succeed. According to the Florida Chamber’s 2015 How They Voted, Senator Gaetz received an 89 percent rating on small business issues.

Senator Don Gaetz - Florida SBDC Network Dividend$ Award
Michael Myhre, FSBDC CEO and Network State Director (left), and Kelly Massey, Regional Director for the FSBDC at UWF (right), present Senator Gaetz (center) with the Small Business Dividend$ Award

“I am honored to be awarded the ‘Small Business Dividend$ Award’ by the Florida SBDC Network,” said Senator Gaetz. “Small business is the backbone of our state and truly what makes Florida such a competitive workforce.  I am grateful for all of the work that the SBDC Network continues to do to ensure that these businesses are well trained, equipped and strengthened to thrive in this growing economy. These businesses are our neighbors and friends and I am grateful for the opportunity to support them in Tallahassee.”

Senator Gaetz previously served as Senate President from 2012 to 2014. During the 2013 Legislative Session, the Florida Legislature passed HB 7007 to amend FL. Stat. 288.001. The change enhanced the Florida SBDC Network’s designation as “the principal business assistance organization for small businesses in the state” by aligning the efforts, interests and investments of the Florida SBDC Network with those of state economic development and higher education to better serve the needs of Florida’s small business community.

“I am proud to present Senator Gaetz with the Small Business Dividend$ Award for his leadership and advocacy in support of small business,” said Michael Myhre, CEO and Network State Director for the Florida SBDC. “The success of our mission in serving the state’s small business community is due in large part to the support of our legislative partners. This award reflects our appreciation.”

Senator Gaetz serves as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. He is a former businessman, having co-founded VITAS Healthcare Corporation, a Miami-based leader in hospice care.