Mayor Teri Johnston and the Key West City Commission commended the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Florida International University for its recent national recognition.
The Center started working with small businesses in the Keys in 2018. The team of highly experienced consultants assists and trains entrepreneurs and business owners in the City of Key West and Monroe County to help them start, grow, and succeed.
FSBDC at FIU works one-on-one with small businesses providing startup assistance, access to capital, marketing, financial management, government contracting, human resources, and business strategy advising.
The Center has delivered more than 2,215 hours of consulting to 223 Key West small businesses, resulting in business owners securing over $18.4 million in capital, securing $7.3 million in government contracts, increasing sales by $8.6 million, impacting 1,548 jobs, and launching 13 new businesses.
In April, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced SBDC at FIU as the winner of the 2023 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award, which recognizes the country's top small business center.
Regional Director Brian Van Hook accepted the honor with consultants Nancy Hull, Bonnie Barns, and Julie Brown. They were joined on the dais by Nick Formica, owner of Key West Marine Hardware, who is the Center's Keys Client of the Year.
“We talk about numbers on a page, but it's actually all about the business owners,” said Van Hook. “Nick here was our Client of the Year. And that’s what we’re all about, helping local business owners."