Florida SBDC Network hosts Florida Small Business Day at the Capitol

Florida SBDC Network State Office (Pensacola, Fla.) – The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, hosted its annual Florida Small Business Day at the Capitol Wednesday, February 28th.

Held at the Florida State Capitol Courtyard, this event highlighted the critical role small businesses play in Florida’s economy and provided an opportunity for small business owners and resource providers to showcase products and services.

“Small businesses are critical to our economy,” said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network. “I was honored to highlight the tremendous dedication and impact of our state’s small businesses yesterday at Florida Small Business Day at the Capitol. Our state’s small business owners are heroes - often making personal sacrifices to chase their dreams. As state director of the Florida SBDC Network, I’ve seen firsthand the passion and selflessness of our state’s small business owners and it’s an honor to celebrate them. I’d like to thank our small business owners, state leadership, partners, SBDC staff members, and the public for attending and supporting Florida’s small businesses.”

More than thirty small businesses and resource providers from across the state exhibited during the event, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, Florida Department of Commerce, Florida Department of State, SelectFlorida, and the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

The day also featured special addresses from Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Florida Commerce Secretary J. Alex Kelly, Florida Secretary of State Cord Byrd, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Melanie Griffin, CareerSource Florida President and CEO Adrienne Johnston, and Florida SBDC Network State Director Greg Britton. 

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “I was happy to join the SBDC in honoring Florida’s amazing small businesses and entrepreneurs at the Capitol. Having been in the restaurant industry my whole life, I have firsthand experience in what it's like to run a small business. It is incredibly challenging but unbelievably rewarding. As your CFO, I can tell you that our small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we must do all we can to support their success. Thanks to the SBDC Network for giving us this opportunity to celebrate Florida’s small businesses.”

“Thanks to Governor Ron DeSantis’ pro-business and pro-worker agenda–more new business applications have been filed in Florida since 2019  than any other state.” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “The simple fact is—people want to live in the Sunshine State, they want to start a business here, they want to work here, and they want to raise a family here, because they know our approach works.”

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida is the nation’s small business capital because our pro-enterprise policies encourage people to realize their dreams of business ownership,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “From Florida Main Streets to rural organizations, to family-owned businesses inside our metropolitan areas, Florida’s SBDC network is a contributor to Florida’s overall economic health, and I am grateful for their work across our state.”

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ leadership and pro-business policies, Florida’s licensee base continues to grow each year. As that growth continues, DBPR is proud to be a resource for entrepreneurs across more than 30 fields of industry,” said Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Melanie S. Griffin. “We know the monumental impact small businesses have on their communities and the state’s economy, and we strive to make doing business in our state easier so business owners can get to work, support their families, and grow their careers.”

"Small businesses are an essential component of Florida’s economic landscape, driving job creation and community development,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Adrienne Johnston. “Events like Florida Small Business Day at the Capitol underscore the importance of collaboration among government, industry organizations, and entrepreneurs. CareerSource Florida commends the Florida SBDC Network for empowering small businesses, and we remain dedicated to providing workforce solutions that support the work of this crucial network. Together, we can create an environment where small businesses flourish, fostering economic growth and prosperity for all Floridians."

The day concluded with the announcement of a special proclamation from Governor Ron DeSantis declaring February 28, 2024 as Florida Small Business Day at the Capitol

Attendees also had the opportunity to tour the network’s mobile assistance center, which the network deploys into communities to help small businesses recover following disasters. 

For more information, please visit https://floridasbdc.org/smallbizday/.