Panama City Beach Chamber News
Small Business Owners Have Opportunity for Assistance
Many businesses in Florida, and in our area, have suffered from the economic decline. Periods of financial crisis pose special challenges for many small and medium businesses. These entities, once stable, profitable and competitive, have begun to struggle to improve operational and financial performance. Consider the impact for Florida alone, when small and medium enterprises make up an overwhelming 91% of the employer firms and additionally contribute to more than one-third of all new jobs. According to the Florida Small Business Development Center Network (FSBDCN) this means that around 91% of all businesses are struggling and possibly failing and as a consequence are creating less employment opportunities.
The FSBDCN has devised a plan to assist these businesses. This new program, called the Growth Acceleration Program (GAP), will assist small to medium enterprises get back on their feet and obtain the professional guidance they need to succeed in the new economy. To implement this process, the FSBDCN will employ consultant professionals with expertise and qualifications to assist and consult distressed businesses in the areas of Strategic/Business Plan Services, Marketing, Financial and Capital Access, and Cash Flow Management. GAP services will be offered at no charge to the eligible participant. Each applicant will go through a four-stage process that includes: Pre-Assessment and Orientation, Business “Health-Check” Assessment, Health Check Report and Presentation, and a Follow up Consultation/Training.
If you are a business that has been struggling and are interested in participating in this program, please review the criteria below prior to contacting the Small Business Development Center. Businesses must meet the following guidelines to participate in the Growth Acceleration Program:
• In-business for a minimum for three years
• Employ 5 to 20 full time employees
• Have $500,000 to $10 million in gross annual sales
The FSBDCN believes that since these specific businesses are the greatest contributor to new job creation the focused services available through hired consultants will meet the complex and diverse needs of the market and will result in the stimulation of the economy. The purpose of this program is to support not just job creation and retention, but also the creation and retention of new wealth (i.e. sales revenue), better positioning to access new capital and repay existing debt obligations, and stabilize and save businesses.
For more information on help for turning your business around, please contact the Veterans’ Business Outreach Center at 850.271.1108 or visit www.vboc.org.