Small Business Outreach Efforts One Focus on DEP’s South District

June 10, 2014

Providing guidance and outreach to businesses of all sizes in the regulated community is a priority of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a whole. To accomplish this, the South District works with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) to participate in informational workshops and to grow relationships with business entities in southwest Florida. Last week, the SBDC honored the South District’s Randy Landers with a certificate of appreciation for his support and training at the 2014 Supplier Diversity Matchmaker Workshop. The SBDC also recognized the agency for its support in promoting the event, which was attended by more than 100 small business owners.

“The DEP’s South District and the SBDC of FGCU continue to partner to provide assistance to the small business owners of southwest Florida,” said Jon Iglehart, director of DEP’s South District. “This partnership has allowed the department the opportunity to meet and provide education to our regulated customers. We have hosted joint educational programs, which has helped the small business owner protect the environment while achieving economic growth.”

The department’s participation in the SBDC’s matchmaker workshops offers small business owners a venue to learn about and compete for current and upcoming opportunities to provide goods and services to the department and other state agencies, as well as the surrounding county and city governments and other major corporations in this region. These events serve as forums for small business owners to meet face-to-face with key procurement decision makers in order to match state-wide needs with current small business offerings. Randy Landers, business planning administrator for DEP’s South District, leads these workshops on behalf of the department. He was recognized Friday for his continued commitment to assisting small businesses and for the success of the SBDC.

“The Florida SBDC values the strong rapport with the DEP. Our organization’s professional and personal relationships formed throughout the years makes it possible for us to continually work together for the benefit, education and gain of businesses in our communities,” said Dan Regelski, director of the SBDC.

The Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University is a dynamic community-based resource, which helps small business owners take advantage of new opportunities to grow their business through a diverse collection of programs and services. The SBDC is located in FGCU’s Center for Leadership and Innovation, the external administrative unit of the Lutgert College of Business, providing a unique collaboration between the College of Business faculty, students and small business owners. The Center serves a five-county area and provides business assistance through various partner locations in southwest Florida

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