Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers entrepreneurial and business development services and plays a vital role in Florida’s economic development by assisting entrepreneurs in every stage of the business life cycle. The SBDC provides the professional expertise, tools and information necessary to help business owners make sound business decisions. The SBDC’s core service offerings include business consulting at no-cost, business training and business research. In addition, the SBDC provides a comprehensive toolkit of specialized services for qualifying businesses looking to accelerate market growth, including: Growth Acceleration, International Trade, Government Contracting and Business Continuation. For more information for programs offered by the Small Business Development Center please call (772) 462-4942 or visit www.irscbiz.com.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government whose mission is to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns and preserve free competitive enterprise, and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA provides assistance primarily through its four programmatic functions:
Access to Capital
The SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing tailored to their needs. The programs offered range from micro-lending, small business loans to substantial debt and equity investment capital (venture capital).
Entrepreneurial Development (Education, Information, Technical Assistance & Training)
The SBA provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to entrepreneurs and established small businesses.
Government Contracting (Federal Procurement)
SBA’s Office of Government Contracting sets goals with other federal department and agencies to reach the statutory goal of 23 percent in prime contract dollars to small businesses. The SBA also provides small businesses with subcontracting procurement opportunities, outreach programs and training.
For more information on programs provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) please contact their local office at (772) 466-3176 or visit www.sba.gov.
Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE)
The Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) provides business counseling, mentoring and education to new and existing small businesses at no cost. To find out more about programs offered by SCORE and connect with a business mentor please call the Treasure Coast chapter at (772) 489-0548 or visit www.score.org.
Employee Training and Recruitment
CareerSource Research Coast
CareerSource Research Coast is a private, non-profit, Florida corporation created to manage a workforce development service delivery system responsive to the needs of businesses and career seekers. CareerSource Research Coast provides a system throughout the region (Indian River County, Martin County and St Lucie County) connecting employers and job seekers. This system offers many programs and services that may be accessed through different gateways, including a virtual network, Career Centers, Mobile Career Centers, community-based partnerships and a toll-free hotline. For more information on the services provided by CareerSource Treasure Coast please call (772) 408-1260 or visit them online at www.careersourcerc.com.
International Trade Administration
The U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration provides information to U.S. companies interested in exporting products internationally via Export.gov. Export.gov helps companies plan, develop and execute international sales strategies necessary to succeed in today’s global marketplace. The U.S. Commercial Service (CS), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, offers companies a full range of expertise in international trade. The services offered includes strategic planning, promotion and sales. For more information on the services offered by the U.S. Export Assistance Center please call (407) 420-4848 ext. 260 or visit www.export.gov.
Business Loan Programs
SBA Loan Guarantee Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) works with lenders to provide loans to small businesses. The SBA doesn’t lend money directly to small business owners. Instead, it sets guidelines for loans made by its partnering lenders, community development organizations, and micro-lending institutions. The SBA guarantees these loans will be repaid, which eliminates some risk for the lending partners. For more information on the SBA’s loan guarantee program please visit www.sba.gov.
Accion is the largest nationwide nonprofit lending network in the United States. Accion helps entrepreneurs generate income, build assets, create jobs by providing direct loans tailored to the company’s needs. For more information on the loan products and services offered by Accion please call (866) 245-0783 or visit www.us.accion.org.
Florida Venture Forum
The Florida Venture Forum is Florida’s largest and most prestigious statewide support organization for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, helping emerging growth companies come together with sources of capital from across the country. The organization provides programs statewide throughout the year in addition to hosting the Florida Venture Conference, the Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition and the Florida Early State Capital Conference. For more information, visit www.flventure.org.