The lifeblood of an organization is its people. Since 1976, the Florida SBDC has helped more than 1.1 million existing and emerging businesses grow and succeed. The secret to our success is our talented and dedicated team of business consultants and professionals.
The Florida SBDC provides Florida businesses with professional business consulting, training, and research services. Consulting is focused on areas vital to accelerating business growth, including international trade, government contracting, and growth acceleration.
Consulting is provided by professionally-certified business consultants, many of whom have previously owned and operated their own small businesses. Collectively, our consultants represent thousands of years of business ownership experience and a broad spectrum of educational and professional backgrounds, including MBAs, PhDs, and CPAs.
Marjorie Weber, a Capital Access Specialist for the Florida SBDC at Florida International University (FIU), has 50 years of experience as a financial consultant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and real estate developers, having assisted major commercial clients seeking investments and access to real estate capital. She is a former officer of a major New York mortgage banking firm, Sonnenblick Goldman Corp. As a Capital Access Specialist for the Florida SBDC at FIU, Marjorie helps small businesses locate, prepare, and obtain financing. Over the last two years, Marjorie has helped her clients raise more than $20 million in capital. For these reasons, Marjorie was named the 2017 U.S. Small Business Administration South Florida District and State of Florida Small Business Financial Advocate of the Year.
Our talented team of consultants are dedicated to their work. Our people recognize that their work means more than helping small business owners; it also means empowering businesses to grow their communities and working collectively to make our state a better place. For Florida SBDC at UCF Government Contracting Specialist Frank Germonto, it meant being by his client's side immediately when he identified a contract with the United States Air Force he wanted to pursue.
American Backflow & Fire Services is a provider of fire safety solutions, primarily by offering sprinkler systems, detection devices and fire backflow services including inspections, installations and servicing. Interested in expanding into government contracting, owner Gary Gamache signed up for the Florida SBDC Government Bid Match System, which would notify him about opportunities to bid on federal, state and local contracts. Gamache and his team had been monitoring the Florida SBDC's Government Bid Match System when they saw an opportunity they wanted to pursue. The United States Air Force was requesting bids for backflow survey services at over 500 locations at Tyndall AFB and two offsite USAF locations. Gamache called Germonto on a Friday at 5:00 pm to look over the government’s request with him. Germonto was there 10 minutes later (he happens to live only a mile from Gamache’s office). They reviewed the Air Force’s request together and then, over the next week, completed American Backflow’s bid package with Germonto clarifying bid requirements, focusing proposal language and recommending administrative changes in the bid draft to ensure it was compliant and responsive to the Air Force’s request. With Germonto's help, American Backflow’s bid won the almost $250,000 government contract. Gary Gamache was effusive in his appreciation.
“To be bidding on my first federal contract and be able to call the FSBDC’s Government Contracting Services and have them by my side almost immediately to help me evaluate an opportunity and then walk us through completing our proposal was invaluable,” says Gamache.
Recognizing that no two businesses are alike, our consultants offer an objective and holistic approach to business success. Although our consultants are located in-house in the communities in which they serve, they also have the unique ability to leverage specialty assistance from Florida SBDCs across the state, in addition to the national network of close to 1,000 SBDCs. This allows our consultants to establish personal, long-term client relationships while assisting a business through all stages of growth.
Interested in meeting with one of our business consultants as part of our no-cost consulting services? Click here to learn more.