The Florida SBDC at USF hosted Tameka Montgomery, Associate Administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development for the U.S. Small Business Administration, during National Small Business Week.
Montgomery scheduled a two-day visit in order to make the most of her trip to the Tampa Bay area. On Wednesday, May 15, she hosted a round table discussion for agencies and organizations that assist small business owners. Representatives from the FSBDC at USF, Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, SCORE, Pinellas County Economic Development, the City of St. Petersburg’s Green House, and the local SBA were on hand to share best practices in helping existing businesses as well as start-ups. Montgomery, who manages the SBA’s business counseling and training programs nationwide, is focusing her attention on the already established businesses that are interested in growing. She made it very clear that she believes in supporting pre-ventures and firms that are in their start-up phase and providing them with the tools necessary to kick-start their operations. Her point is that those firms that have been in business for several years and have a solid employee base are the ones that generate the revenues that fuel our economy. She wanted to empower all of the organizations present at the roundtable to make every effort to help these growth-oriented companies reach the next level.
This focus is completely in line with the vision that the Florida SBDC Network has instituted across the state at all 11 centers. The FSBDC Network has positioned its centers to better deliver growth acceleration services to companies that have been in business for more than three years, have more than five employees and have annual revenues in excess of $500 million. The businesses served have average annual sales of $6 million and the centers have been re-tooled to assist these more sophisticated companies.
Montgomery was also the keynote speaker at the 27th Annual Government Small Business Conference, held May 15-16 at Higgins Hall in Tampa. This event focuses on companies that want to learn how to do business with the government, with an emphasis on Federal contracting. The theme of her speech was the American Dream, which used to be about owning your own home and which, she thinks, has shifted to owning your own business.
Montgomery spoke about the need for small businesses to continue to grow and employ even more Americans as they become more and more successful. She stated that the Federal government increased their spending with small businesses by $48 billion with the current administration. This shows that there is a great need for firms to learn to navigate how to sell to the government in order to increase their revenues.
The FSBDC at USF will continue to provide these very focused services with government contracting specialists who are on hand to assist any business in acquiring the skills needed to sell to the government. To find out more, visit the FSBDC at USF online.
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