Release Date: April 17, 2012
President Hightlights the Importance of
“The Florida Small Business Development Center Network has been on the forefront of identifying new opportunities for businesses for over 35 years. We are committed to accelerating Florida’s economy by helping Florida businesses explore new market opportunities outside our borders,” said Jerry Cartwright, the State Director of the Florida SBDC Network.
President Obama recently toured and spoke on the importance of international trade at the Port of Tampa, Florida's largest port by cargo tonnage and one of the nation's largest ports by area. In his address, the President introduced the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA), a new initiative working cooperatively with America's SBDCs to promote and create jobs in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through expansion in international markets; a priority and area of focus of the Florida SBDC Network. The SBNA will work with the Florida SBDC Network to continue accelerating international exports for Florida's SMEs. Ninety-five percent of exporters in the State of Florida are SMEs.
New statistics show that businesses expanding to international markets grow an average of 15%-20% faster and are 15% more profitable. In 2011, Florida businesses produced and exported nearly $65 billion in goods. This was a 17% increase from the previous year. To celebrate Florida’s export growth, Governor Rick Scott declared April as "Florida World Trade Month". In his proclamation, Governor Scott says, "The impact of international commerce on Florida's economy cannot be overstated." To reach the national goal of doubling exports Florida’s businesses will need help.
The Florida SBDC Network has “Export Ready” programs and services in place to help new-to-market, new-to-export businesses in Florida expand globally:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 43,000 of Florida's 2 Million businesses export, making Florida the second largest concentration of exporters in the U.S. Florida trade represents $102.9 billion dollars and more than 1.3 million jobs in Florida depend on international business.
"Florida's small and medium-sized businesses are the job creators in our state. The Florida SBDC Network is committed to providing the professional assistance and expertise they need to grow," said Cartwright.For over 35 years, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between Federal and State government, higher education and local economic development organizations dedicated to providing emerging and growth businesses with professional business information and expertise that enable overall business growth and increased profitability and economic prosperity for the state. In 2011, Florida SBDCs helped its clients acquire $96.6 million in capital for business expansion and investment; create and save 16,914 Floridian jobs; achieve new sales revenue growth worth $317.9 million; win government contract awards worth $313.9 million; and create 1,026 new business enterprises. To learn more about the Florida SBDC Network or to find a SBDC near you, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org or call 1.866.737.7232.
The Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network of 39 centers, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, hosted by the University of West Florida and accredited through the national Association of SBDCs.
State Office l UWF Office of Economic Development & Engagement