Pasco County Blog

2012

June 8, 2012
Dog Leads Entrepreneur to Microloan

Chad Carter, owner of Tampa Bay Urodynamics, a mobile medical testing company, is proud to be the next recipient of a microloan from the Pasco Economic Development Council. Carter found out about the microloan program from an unlikely source, his Golden Retriever named Jackson. “I took my dog for a walk,” Carter said, “and next thing you know he is tearing into a neighbor’s newspaper. When I bent down to get it away from him, I saw the headline about a microloan to help small businesses.” The microloan enabled Carter to purchase upgraded equipment to expand his company’s services. Carter is an enthusiastic, charismatic entrepreneur who has worked in medical sales since 1996. During that time he noticed a strong need for urodynamics testing in the Bay area. In 2006, he opened Tampa Bay Urodynamics (TBU). TBU offers testing and pelvic floor rehab therapy for patients with common medical issues like frequency and urgency, and offers patients an option other than medicine or surgery for incontinence. TBU provides physicians with cost-effective and efficient in-office urodynamic studies for patients, without incurring the expenditures normally associated with providing these services, and relieves physicians from having to refer their patients to a hospital or surgery center. The Pasco EDC microloan fund was established to help local entrepreneurs who cannot obtain traditional financing to grow their business and create jobs. Pasco EDC is urging companies who need help obtaining non-traditional financing and are headquartered in Pasco County, or planning to locate in Pasco County, to consider applying for a microloan. Borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt. Please visit www.pascoedc.com for more information on how to apply, or call Pasco EDC at 813-926-0827 to consider donating to the fund.

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April 30, 2012
Tampa Bay is home to many female entrepreneurs!

The Financial Times says women entrepreneurs are hard to find.  FT Global MBA 2012 ranking, "only 12 percent of female MBA graduates set up their own companies within three years of graduating, compared to 19 per cent of male graduates."

Sara Blakely, Inventor of Spanx

Tampa Bay must be the anomaly!  Here, female entrepreneurs are growing every day. You may have heard of Tampa Bay's most popular female entrepreneur Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx, the footless pantyhose that have propelled her onto Forbes list of The World's Top Billionaires! Blakely got her start here in Tampa Bay, Florida, and is the world's youngest female self-made billionaire. Within Tampa Bay, female entrepreneurs are on the rise in Pasco County. Of the three microloans distributed from Pasco Economic Development Council, two of them are to female entrepreneurs. Rosie Paulsen, an Ecuadorian who came to the United States in 1988 started Good Faith Insurance Services which educates retirees on their Medicare choices and benefits. Rosie is an energetic, all-smiles entrepreneur with a can-do attitude. She is a big promoter of Pasco County which is why in December 2009, she founded the Pasco Hernando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is also a founding member and community liaison of “La Liga Latina” a group of Hispanic professionals that educates the community. Also in Pasco is Vicki Forster, a mom who invented a really cool water bottle holder called  The Go Caddy™. The idea came to her by accident, literally, when she got out of her car to go workout at the Trinity YMCA and dropped all of her stuff on the ground. Now her product will be gracing the TV screens on QVC. (By the way it can hold not only water, but keys, passports, cell phone, and this weekend I used it to hold a wine bottle!) There is an amazing entrepreneurial spirit here in Pasco County, which is what makes the microloan fund so important! The microloan program is an opportunity for emerging small businesses who can't get traditional financing, to grow and hire more people and contribute to growth and rebuilding of our economy. Do you know someone with a great idea or an emerging small business who is ready to grow but just needs a little help? Call us: 813-926-0827. Source: Financial Times Article

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April 26, 2012
Pasco County Entrepreneur and Inventor of the Go Caddy™ Awarded Microloan
Victoria Forster, inventor, entrepreneur, and proud mom receives Pasco Economic Development Council’s next microloan to help grow her business. GoCaddyForster’s idea for her company, BVT Products, LLC, began in 2003 when she headed to work out at the Trinity YMCA. While getting out of her car with her water bottle, towel, purse, keys, and cell phone, she dropped everything on the pavement. “I got a workout just bending and picking up everything!” She said. after looking in vain for a carrier that wouldn’t be clunky, she decided to make one herself. Forster took her new invention to her next aerobics class where it was a big hit with her classmates. And so the Go Caddy™ was born. The Go Caddy™ is a compact tote that holds a water bottle, identification, money and more when you are on the go. On February 29, a story about Pasco EDC’s microloan fund in the local newspaper caught Forster’s attention.  “Knowing how difficult it is for a small business to secure a loan these days, I immediately called the number in the article, and Krista Hakes helped me get started.” “Victoria is what the microloan fund is all about,” said Hakes, Pasco EDC Economic Development Manager.  “Being a working mom myself, I have a lot of respect for her drive to get to where she is today. I’m personally excited that we are helping her business grow.  Who knows, she could be Tampa Bay’s next Sara Blakely!” (A local success story, Blakely is the world's youngest self-made female billionaire; in 2000, she founded Spanx, a multi-million dollar undergarment company.) BVT Products, LLC, plans to use the loan to help grow the business. It will allow BVT Products, LLC, to order more inventory, update the company website, produce a direct mail campaign to add to the 145 stores that currently sell the Go Caddy™ and hire a college intern. This past year BVT Products, LLC, licensed the Go Caddy™ to Infusion Brands, a consumer products company based in Clearwater, FL, that leverages direct response promotion on live television. Infusion Brands has secured a deal with QVC America to have the Go Caddy™ featured on the show this coming May.  To find out more about the Go Caddy™ visit www.thegocaddy.com The microloan fund was established to help local entrepreneurs who cannot obtain traditional financing like Victoria Forster and her company BVT Products to grow, expand, and create jobs in the future. Pasco EDC is urging companies who need help obtaining non-traditional financing and are headquartered in Pasco County, or planning to locate in Pasco County, to consider applying for a microloan. Borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt. Please visit www.pascoedc.com for more information on how to apply, or call Pasco EDC at 813-926-0827 to consider donating to the fund. (Read More)


April 22, 2012
Minority-Owned Business Next to Receive Microloan in Pasco County

Rosie Paulsen, an Ecuadorian who came to the United States in 1988, is the next microloan recipient from Pasco Economic Development Council, Inc. Overwhelmed when she received the check, she said, “I really am living the American Dream!” Rocio “Rosie” Paulsen is the owner of Good Faith Insurance Services which educates retirees on their Medicare choices and benefits. She has been serving the Medicare population and the Wesley Chapel community since 2005, and her business is on the move. To keep up with the growing demand of services, the company needs to hire at least one additional full-time staff member. Rosie is an energetic, all-smiles entrepreneur with a can-do attitude. She wants Pasco County to grow, and she wants Hispanic business owners in Pasco County to succeed. In December 2009, she founded the Pasco Hernando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is also a founding member and community liaison of “La Liga Latina” a group of Hispanic professionals that educates the community. Pasco EDC's Krista Hakes hands Rocio

Grinning from ear to ear Rosie said, “I am so happy because this will allow me to hire the full-time help that we need. I am also proud to be the first Hispanic- and woman-owned business to receive a microloan from Pasco EDC.” Rosie noted that she especially appreciated the free technical assistance and training from the USF Small Business Development Center. “This is what it is all about. Helping passionate small business owners and entrepreneurs with solid ideas, good management skills and a valid business plan, who simply can’t get traditional financing,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “We want these businesses to grow, hire more people, and continue expanding here in Pasco County.” Pasco EDC is urging companies who need help obtaining non-traditional financing and are headquartered in Pasco County, or planning to locate in Pasco County, to consider applying for a microloan. Borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt. Please visit www.pascoedc.com for more information on how to apply, or call the Pasco EDC at 813-926-0827 to consider donating to the fund. For more information on Good Faith Insurance Services contact Rosie Paulsen at 813-345-4331 (5854 Argerian Dr., Suite 101, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545)

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April 20, 2012
Dr. Jay Harvey of Personal Pediatric Care Thanks Pasco EDC for Microloan
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April 12, 2012
Local Pediatrician Receives Pasco’s First Microloan to Help Grow His Business

Dr. Jay Harvey, a board certified pediatrician left his office Wednesday with a check from Pasco Economic Development Council, Inc.  Personal Pediatric Care in Trinity became Pasco EDC’s first small business to receive a microloan. “I am truly honored to be Pasco EDC’s first loan recipient,” said Dr. Jay Harvey MD, FAAP. “This will allow me to continue to grow and expand my practice and help elevate the level of pediatric care here in our community.” Pediatrician, Dr. Jay Harvey receives microloan check from Pasco EDC With nearly 20 years of experience, Dr. Jay Harvey opened his practice in Trinity in 2011. Initially it was opened to offer boutique, concierge medicine, and limit the number of patients he was seeing. However, current economic conditions proved this particular model could not be supported, and he quickly began to restructure his business for growth, but like many other small businesses, Personal Pediatric Care was unable to obtain traditional financing. Through Pasco EDC’s microloan fund they received the funding needed plus technical training to help along the way. Dr. Harvey has converted his practice back into a traditional pediatric office, and kids and moms alike are thrilled. Amid the giant mural-lined walls of SpongeBob and Scooby Doo, Dr. Harvey is equally thrilled to be growing and expanding his practice. “We know that the use of the funds will make a huge impact here in Pasco County and on his business,” said Michael Cox, Chair of Pasco EDC’s Growth Task Force and Associate VP with Wells Fargo Advisors. “The bottom line is, we want to help businesses promote themselves, continue to grow and add to our community.” The microloan fund was established to help local entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and expand. When companies grow, jobs are created and the local economy begins to flourish. Pasco EDC is urging companies who need help obtaining non-traditional financing and are headquartered in Pasco County, or planning to locate in Pasco County, to consider applying for a microloan. Borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt. Please visit www.pascoedc.com for more information on how to apply, or call the Pasco EDC at 813-926-0827 to consider donating to the fund.

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