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SBDC at USF Celebrates Its Own Day With Mayoral Proclamation

Yanina Rosario and Michele Phillips of the mayor's office

TAMPA (March 23, 2017) -- Business has changed dramatically over the last 37 years and America's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has been there throughout. Since 1980, SBDCs—the nation's largest business assistance network—have helped aspiring and emerging small business owners achieve the American dream of entrepreneurship.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn recently signed a proclamation officially designating Wednesday, March 22, as Small Business Development Centers Day in Tampa, recognizing and thanking the Small Business Development Center at USF "for its impact on the economic success of our region."

The proclamation said that: "... for over three decades, the SBDC at USF has created a better Florida by helping businesses grow and is dedicated to its mission of providing businesses the expertise and resources to succeed through a firm commitment to its customers, employees, partners and funders, and its dedication through the years has contributed to the Tampa Bay area becoming a nationwide leader in job creation and small business growth."

In 2016, the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida dedicated 16,124 hours of no-cost business consulting hours to 1,636 small business owners throughout the Tampa Bay region. The center also provided 328 training events in the region. This high-quality service to businesses has resulted in 59,957 jobs being created, retained or saved over the past five years.

In addition, the local center's small business clients have generated $8.1 billion in sales, acquired $250.8 million in government contracts and accessed $143.7 million in investment capital, over that same time period.

To celebrate the collective impact and success SBDCs have across the nation and in local communities each year, America's SBDCs held the first SBDC Day on March 22. SBDC Day is a national movement to help share the small-business success stories and notable impact SBDCs have fostered in communities nationwide.

On March 22, participants shared how their local center created differences in their lives and communities.

Consultants visited with clients, stakeholders and partners throughout the region for photo opportunities, while the Tampa Channelside office hosted a small celebration for clients who stopped in for services. In addition, legislators took part in photo opportunities in Tallahassee with Regional Director Eileen Rodriguez and Assistant Director Carl Hadden.

"We have been working hard to inform small to medium enterprises about just how expansive our services are here in the Tampa Bay region," Stacey Dadd, marketing and communications officer at the Florida SBDC at USF, said. "This was a perfect opportunity for clients, stakeholders and partners to step out of the shadows and share their love of the SBDC with others in their communities."

"SBDC Day is more than a one-day event," Michael W. Myhre, America's SBDC board chairman, said. "By celebrating small businesses and supporting SBDCs on SBDC Day and year-round, everyone can play a part in strengthening our nation's economy."