Local Agency Helps Small Businesses

Competition for new jobs among American communities is fierce.
In 2012 6 Panhandle counties, including Bay, landed 51 new companies, that spent more than $1.5 million in capitol.
"In turn they've hired 130 people, said Brent Peacock, a certified business consultant with Small Businesses Development Center. “Those are jobs that are developed, created and retained."
Those are the success stories, but there are also a lot of businesses with uncertain futures.
Take the restaurant industry.
"Probably more restaurant seat per capita than anywhere else in the country, lots of competition," said Peacock.
In Panama City, Sue Herring is struggling through the slow winter months, even though she's part of the legendary J Michael's franchise.
"I'm aware it's going to take a while for it to pick up,” said Herring. “I know you have to be prepared to open a new business"
Herring is getting some help from SBDC to help through the slow months.
"We help them establish a presence and credibility. Lending is kind of hard in some cases, it depends on credit score and personal money. But, we are finding some success in business that are starting up," said Peacock.
The SDBC offers a number of different services to people like herring.
"They were out here a lot,” said Herring. “They helped me balance my books, and with the finances, and also just encouraged."
And they do it for free.

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