By Luana Goncalves • November 29, 2016

Florida SBDC Network, Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Partner

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Florida SBDC Network, Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Partner

Strategic agreement to increase collaboration, awareness of access to capital resources

(Pensacola, Fla.) – November 29, 2016 – The Florida SBDC Network and the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation and awareness about the resources the organizations provide to help Florida’s aspiring and existing Hispanic-owned small businesses access the capital they need to grow and succeed.

Florida SBDC CEO and Network State Director Michael Myhre and FSHCC President and CEO Julio Fuentes signed the MOU. Through the agreement, the organizations will work in collaboration on program advocacy to streamline service offerings to foster the success of their client businesses.

“Florida is home to the third largest Hispanic population in the country, and between 2007 and 2012, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew by over 30 percent,” said Myhre. “It is incumbent on us to ensure that Florida’s Hispanic-owned businesses are armed with the resources and expertise to find success. That is why we are very pleased to partner with the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to create a greater framework of support.”

“With the tremendous growth of Hispanic-owned businesses year after year, it’s important that we also immerse ourselves in the Hispanic community to inform and provide resources that will be crucial to their success,” said Fuentes. “Hispanic entrepreneurs are America’s business future, and we are delighted to be partnering with the Florida SBDC Network to continue the work of bridging that gap on access to capital between lenders and Hispanic business owners.”

The FSHCC, established in 2000 to serve the state’s rising Hispanic population growth, is a nonprofit economic advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the economic advancement of Florida’s Hispanic business community. Recognized as one of the Top Five Chambers in the Nation by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the FSHCC brings together various sectors of Florida’s business communities, including Hispanic-owned and operated businesses, businesses with Hispanic workforces, and businesses serving Hispanic consumers.

As part of its service offering, the FSHCC established the Access Florida Capital program to assist small and mid-sized businesses seeking financing to grow and expand. The program provides materials and assistance to guide eligible small and mid-sized businesses through the process of planning, organizing, and presenting funding requests to participating banks.

The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, provides consulting, training, and information to existing and aspiring businesses. As part of the network’s service offering, Florida SBDC Capital Access Specialists provide no-cost consulting and low-cost training to help small businesses locate, prepare, and obtain financing. Florida SBDC Capital Access Specialists are professionally certified business consultants, many of whom are former bankers, business owners, and executives with years of experience and advanced business degrees.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016. Since its inception, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. Since 2011, Florida SBDCs have provided 401,475 hours of consulting to 45,502 client businesses, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained and saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; $947.4 million in capital investments; and 3,857 new businesses started. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

About the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

The FSHCC’s mission is to promote the economic advancement of Florida’s Hispanic Business community, with a focus on economic and political empowerment. Through its public advocacy efforts, FSHCC improves the quality of life of every Hispanic in Florida. The organization boasts a network of 80,000 small business owners throughout the state. Learn more about the FSHCC at www.FSHCC.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Dianne Gross Hafleigh
Florida SBDC Network
(850) 898-3486

Luana Goncalves
Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
(561) 513-8096