Development Center helps small businesses succeed

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 09:34 AM.

The Small Business Development Center just might have been the best kept secret in Gulf County, but the secret is quickly getting out.

With 40 offices in Florida alone, the SBDC is a free service aimed to help arm startup businesses with an easy-to-follow process from business plans and finances to assisting existing business with marketing and expansion.

It’s already made its mark on Gulf County.

Chris Laue and his wife, Vickie, hadn’t heard of the SBDC, but after attending a business startup seminar held at the Gulf Coast State College Gulf/Franklin campus, the group was on hand to provide information.

Laue’s family has sold bikes for more than 30 years and one day while driving down Reid Avenue he saw an empty corner building. With little more than a dream he contacted the SBDC and in June 2013 the doors of that very same building opened to the public as St. Joe Velo.

Laue worked with Certified Business Analyst Quen Lamb, the SBDC representative for Gulf, Jackson, Calhoun, Washington and Holmes Counties. Lamb has a background in ownership, management, sales and marketing from years working in the corporate medical business world.

 “In the military we have a checklist of everything we need to do,” said Laue. “Everything we received from the SBDC was organized and it wasn’t stressful.”

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