Local business owners have roundtable discussion


During a roundtable at Gulf Coast State College Gulf/Franklin campus, local business owners brainstormed ways for small businesses to succeed in the current economy. The event was hosted by the Small Business Development Center which offers free consulting services.

Wes Locher
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 09:51 AM.

The Small Business Development Center held a business roundtable meeting on Tuesday at the Gulf Coast State College Gulf/Franklin Center as a meeting of the minds for the local business sector.

An audience of 50, made up of local business owners and entrepreneurs, registered for the panel moderated by Robert Goetz, director of the SBDC and included panels guests Mayor Mel Magidson, BOCC Chairman Tan Smiley, Economic Development Alliance chairman Guerry Magidson, Chamber of Commerce director Aaron Farnsley and Ralph Roberson, Board of Trustees Chair for Gulf Coast State College.

The panelists were introduced by Loretta Costin, director of the GCSC campus.

The goal of the meeting was to look at the economic climate in Gulf County as seen from the perspective of leaders and business owners. While the group acknowledged that Port St. Joe was once established as a mill town, which has since transitioned to a tourist area, making a difficult economy for startup businesses.

Guerry Magidson expressed that once the shipping channel is dredged, the Port of Port St. Joe would bring jobs to town and help the city reclaim its place in the industrial world.

“Gulf County’s future looks very bright as far as economic development goes,” said Magidson.

Smiley shared his personal journey of opening a car wash and day care and thanked GCSC for featuring programs that would culminate in graduates obtaining business licenses, the key to starting any venture.

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