By: Michael Myhre, Florida SBDC CEO & Network State Director
It is often said that small businesses are critical to our state’s economy. Unfortunately their role sometimes is overlooked due to their inherent size. Studies, however, show that there is nothing “small” about their role in Florida’s economic development system.
According to the latest issue of CFO Atwater’s Florida’s Bottom Line, there are 2.3 million small businesses in the State of Florida. These businesses are a powerhouse for job creation as they create nearly two-thirds of net new private sector jobs in Florida. One out of every three Floridians is employed by a small business with less than 50 employees, equating to 4.6 million.
How do we ensure these businesses succeed?
Providing small businesses with resources and expertise to make smarter business decisions has been shown to dramatically increase survivability and to help avoid common entrepreneurial pitfalls.
The Florida SBDC Network does exactly this. Think of a SBDC as a business owner’s unbiased partner committed to helping them achieve success. At no cost to the business, the Florida SBDC Network provides one-on-one professional business consulting specifically targeted to help the business succeed.
Our professional expertise is focused on areas vital to accelerating business growth, including business and strategic plan development, access to capital, and strategic market research and market growth development—including expanding internationally and doing business with the government.
Last year, the Florida SBDC Network delivered 68,537 direct consulting hours to 11,526 emerging and growing businesses. As a result, our client businesses were able to:
• raise $197.3 million in new investment capital to grow their businesses
• increase their sales by $5.5 billion, and
• acquire $602.2 million in Government Contracts
These results have helped create and retain 39,536 Floridian jobs.
Small businesses may be small, but the impact they have on our economy is not. Together, we can work to provide them with the ideal environment to achieve success.