Florida Small Business Development Center at UWF partners with Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

Today, the Florida Small Business Development Center at UWF signed an agreement to partner with Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce to collectively champion entrepreneurial progress in North Okaloosa County.

The partnership will enable the FSBDC at UWF and Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce to collaborate in existing and develop new, mutually beneficial programs, projects and activities related to the growth and prosperity of the business community in North Okaloosa County. Both organizations are committed to cultivating the entrepreneurial environment by assessing and strengthening systems; enhancing the accessibility to mentors and knowledge centers; and connecting partners, capital and talent.

Anytime that we can bring educational programs into the community to help meet the needs of our business partners, it is a win-win scenario,” said UWF President Judy Bense. “UWF is pleased to serve as the host for the statewide Florida Small Business Development Center and to be able to collaborate to make job growth happen in Florida. We are delighted to partner with the Crestview Chamber of Commerce.”

Through this partnership, Certified Business Consultants will be available onsite to provide existing businesses and prospective entrepreneurs with management assistance, business analysis, industry research, government contracting, international trade and more. Additionally, the FSBDC at UWF will host training programs at the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce throughout the year.

“As one of the few Chambers of Commerce, if not the only, we felt this organization was so important that we dedicated an office to them for our Chamber members,” said Wayne Harris, Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. “This is, by far, the best resource for new and existing businesses. Your chances of success rise exponentially using this most valuable of service.”

The FSBDC at UWF and Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce will cross-promote and refer potential clients to each other’s services and programs. The Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce will also assist in the coordination and promotion of FSBDC at UWF events, including workshops, through the utilization of space and display of FSBDC at UWF brand and promotional materials.

“I am very excited about this official partnership between the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce and the FSBDC at UWF,” said Kelly Massey, FSBDC at UWF regional director. “Both FSBDC and UWF are seeking to make our services more convenient and accessible for businesses throughout the Florida panhandle. Wayne Harris has been a great partner of the FSBDC for a long time. We are both committed to serving area business and industry. This partnership is a ‘win’ for everyone. Mr. Harris and Tom Hermanson led the effort to make this happen. I applaud them both.”

The FSBDC at UWF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a non-profit network of college and university-based centers providing entrepreneurs with high quality one-on-one consulting, management training, and vital information they need to grow and prosper in a complex and competitive global environment. Based in the University of West Florida College of Business, the FSBDC at UWF has helped prospective and existing small business owners form, grow and sustain successful businesses for more than 30 years.

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