The Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida (SBDC at USF) is one of the six recipients of Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT grant program, which provides a collective $800,000 to community organizations to help support the housing market by offering down payment assistance, home revitalization and business assessments.
“Wells Fargo selected the Small Business Development Center as a one of the six recipients because the center’s small business training and consulting helps entrepreneurs create the jobs needed in order for people to become homeowners,” said Wells Fargo’s Regional President Carl Miller.
As the SBDC’s host institution, the USF College of Business nominated the Center for the grant so the SBDC can concentrate on the expansion of its Growth Acceleration Services in the City of Tampa. The Growth Acceleration Services provides emerging and growth stage companies with no-cost consulting assessments and strategies to grow the business. The services include developing strategic plans, assessing and accessing capital, determining market diversification tactics and shoring up financial practices and institutional relationships.
“Our research shows that second stage companies are producing the most jobs,” said SBDC Regional Director Eileen Rodriguez. “We are currently targeting clients that would qualify for the no-cost Growth Acceleration Services but haven’t yet taken advantage of the services. The basic qualifications include having five or more employees and bringing in more than $500,000, or preferably $1 million, in annual sales.”
The program has already seen success from many businesses, including Tricycle Studios, an Ybor-based digital marketing company. Its owners Tona Bell and Randy Rosenthal are long-term SBDC clients who decided in 2011 that they wanted to accelerate the growth of their business. But, before accelerating, they once again turned to the SBDC for insight to ensure the firm’s capability of handling the operational and management challenges associated with rapid growth. Tricycle Studios has grown by 45 percent and is set to continue growing in excess of 30 percent each year.
Have questions about the SBDC? call visit www.SBDCTampabay.com or call 813.905.5800