Economic Scene

EMERGENCY BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM DEADLINE APPROACHING – There is still time for business owners to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The application deadline is Nov. 30. The program provides short-term, interest-free loans to businesses damaged by Hurricane Irma. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network, the program helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage occurs and when sufficient recovery funds, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans, can be secured. Eligible small businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $50,000 for 90- or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established before Sept. 4 and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 30, contingent on fund availability. Visit www.floridadisasterloan.org for full details.

MEASURE IT, UNDERSTAND IT, GET IT DONE: A BUSINESS PERFORMANCE GUIDE – GrowFL will present this free webinar from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. The presenter will be John Flick, principal for Nperspective – CFO/Strategic Services. Regardless of your current level of achievement, this instructive session will help you take information from financial statements and operations and effectively use it in a structured approach to business improvement. The webinar will help you act on opportunities to improve the profit, cash flow, financial stability and value of your business. A culture of continuous performance improvement builds value in your business and increases distributable profit. Webinar presenter John Flick brings over 35 years of experience in finance, strategy and operations in the logistics, distribution and consumer goods businesses. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University. For more details, go to www.growfl.com/all_events/nperspective-dec-webinar.  

RISE IN HOUSEHOLD INCOMES – SmartAsset has analyzed median household income data from 2015 and 2016 to find the cities with the fastest-growing incomes. Household incomes across the country are generally up. Household income dropped in only 11 of the largest 100 cities. The analysis also found that five of the top 10 cities with the fastest-growing incomes are tech hubs. For the first time in 10 years, incomes fell in the nation’s capital, reversing that city’s $30,000 increase in median household income from 2005 to 2015. Miami and Tampa were the only Florida cities to be ranked in the top 25; they ranked No. 1 and No. 3 respectively.

CONTENT MARKETING: WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO SAY IT – SCORE will present a free seminar, “Content Marketing – What to Say and How to Say It,” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30. This workshop is for anyone who knows proper content is more important than ever in soliciting a response from your customers. It will be held at the Daytona State College Campus, UCF Building 150, Room 100, Daytona Beach. Reservations are required; visit www.volusiaflagler.score.org or call 386-255-6889.

FLORIDA RANKS NO. 2 FOR GROWTH IN WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES – The Sunshine State is particularly sunny for women-owned firms, according to a new study. Florida had the second-highest growth in the number of women-owned businesses over the past 20 years, according to a study by American Express Open. The number of firms jumped from 338,000 in 1997 to just over 1 million in 2017. The study released Wednesday examined data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. Nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has ballooned by 114 percent over the last two decades.

TRADE GRANTS AVAILABLE – Enterprise Florida (EFI) offers trade grants to help Florida companies increase their export sales through international trade shows and exhibitions in support of the state’s Export Diversification and Expansion Initiative. Expanding into international markets can be vital to the success of a company’s growth strategy, and studies demonstrate that companies with a significant international portfolio grow faster, are more profitable and less susceptible to domestic downturns. To help companies increase export sales and enter new markets overseas, EFI Target Sector Trade Show Grants can provide event-specific grants on a reimbursable basis to eligible manufacturers and professional services providers in one of Enterprise Florida’s target sectors. The grants can be used for trade shows where Enterprise Florida hosts a Florida Pavilion, as well as other events that are important to a company’s success in the global marketplace. For more information, contact Virgil Kimball at vkimball@volusia.org.

INTERNATIONAL TOURISM – According to Visit Florida, Canada is Florida’s No. 1 international tourism market, with 3.3 million Canadians traveling to Florida in 2016. They account for 23 percent of Florida’s international visitors and spent $3.6 billion here in 2016. About 40 percent of Florida’s Canadian visitors travel in the winter from January through March, stay longer, and spend 1.9 times more per person than domestic visitors. Visit Florida has introduced the Canadian Power Play Program whose goal is to make it more affordable for Canadian families to travel to the state.

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Surprising Volusia County

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Post-secondary education: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State College and the UCF Daytona Beach have a national reputation for excellence.  Read more >>>